Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson

Mel Gibson has been in front of the camera since 2002 with an eight year hiatus that left many of us wondering if we would ever see him in a movie again.

But with his issues behind him Gibson is back this week with his new movie Edge of Darkness, which teams him up with Casino Royale filmmaker Martin Campbell.

The Oscar winner has enjoyed a career that has spanned over thirty years and one of cinema's most bankable stars.

It's hard to believe that it was back in 1977 that Gibson made his big screen debut in Summer City, at this point he was still working in Australian television. But Summer City brought him to domestic attention as he picked up an Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.

But it was with the movie Mad Max two years later that brought him wider recognition, except in America, and a star was born.

He demonstrated his versatility in 1981 when he starred in World War I drama Gallipoli directed by Peter Weir.

The movie follows the events surrounding the ill-fated World War I battle, in which Australian and New Zealand troops set out to capture Istanbul.

But mistakes made by upper-echelon military commanders led to disaster, in which the army grunts suffered the most.

That same year Gibson got his first hit in America in the form of Mad Max 2 and he followed this up with The Year of Living Dangerously, another critically acclaimed movie from Peter Weir.

After a year away from acting to focus on his family he returned with The Bounty before reprising the role of Max Rockatansky for the third time, a role which brought him his first $1 million dollar pay check.

And just as one series of movies came to an end he took up another in the form of Lethal Weapon, a movie series that teamed him up with Danny Glover.

With the success of Lethal Weapon Gibson was a major mainstream star and one of the most popular faces on the big screen.

Gibson, Glover and filmmaker Richard Donner would repeat this success three more times as they returned make three Lethal Weapon sequel, all of which enjoyed great success.

The actor started to take more interest in the behind the camera processes in the late eighties as he produced Hamlet, in which he also starred as the title character.

He went on to make his directorial debut in 1993 with The Man Without a Face, based on Isabelle Holland's 1972 novel.

The movie was met with respectful praise it was Braveheart in 1995 that announced him as a serious filmmaker.

As well as directing the film, which was set during the First War of Scottish Independence, Gibson also took on one of his most famous roles William Wallace.

The movie was a box office success on it's release going on to gross over $210 million worldwide and awards came the film's way.

It was nominated for ten Oscars taking home five, including Best Picture and Best Director for Gibson.

Into the noughties and Gibson's pulling power at the box office was as strong as ever as What Women Want, Chicken Run and Signs were all successful.

But in 2004 he returned to the director's chair for one of the most controversial movies to ever grace the big screen... yes I'm talking about The Passion of the Christ.

The movie was based on the New Testament accounts of the arrest, trial, torture, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and was shot in Aramaic, Latin, and Hebrew.

Despite the religious controversy that surrounded the movie grossed over $611 million at the global box office, easily making back it's rather modest $30 million budget. The film went on to become the highest grossing non-English language film ever.

Gibson stayed with directing as two year later he brought us Apocalypto and set amongst the Mayan civilisation.

Once again the movie was met with some controversy The Washington Post writing the Mya were represented as "super-cruel, psycho-sadistic society on the skids, a ghoulscape engaged in widespread slavery, reckless sewage treatment and bad rave dancing, with a real lust for human blood."

Despite this the film was a critical hit and went on to be nominated for a string of Best Foreign Language Film awards, including the Bafta.

But this week Gibson is back in front of the camera with The Edge of Darkness as homicide detective Thomas Craven who tries to uncover why his daughter was murdered.

On the horizon for Gibson is a movie called The Beaver, directed by Jodie Foster as well as starring the Oscar winning actress and Anton Yelchin.

Edge of Darkness is released 29th January

FemaleFirst Helen Earnshaw

by for
find me on and follow me on