Mel Gibson! It's Hell Being Mel! Will he pull his career out of the toilet, or is this it for him?
Twelve years ago, What Women Want came out. The poster was an enormous close-up of Mel Gibson's face. It seemed to be answering its own question -- or perhaps just making a declarative statement of truth to three thousand movie lobbies. This is what women want. Women want Mel. Everybody wants Mel.
Now, nobody wants Mel. You need a Geiger counter to drive past his home in Beverly Hills. His enduring image is not of The Man That Women Want, but of his mug shot, chin down, staring upwards, furtively, somewhat feral, like a schoolboy who has done something profoundly wrong and is waiting for his rosaries.
Ironically, this skid was initiated by Mel's greatest commercial success. The Passion of the Christ. We all knew that Mel loved martyrdom. Between Lethal Weapon and Braveheart and Payback and Hamlet, the man craved it. And so he made the ultimate martyr movie about the ultimate martyr.
Mel now has what he wanted. He's the martyr. In real life. Between the DUI, the anti-Semetic slurs after the DUI, the horrible tapes of him threatening domestic abuse, The Beaver, all of it, he's now persona non grata both in Hollywood and our homes.
Hollwood loves redemption stories. Mel's career is certainly in a deep enough hole to make his life into a whopper of one. But it's also in a deep enough hole where the undertakers can fill the dirt in and nobody would notice.
Tell me, Reckonauts! Is it all over for Mel? Or do you think he has it in him to roar back and rescue his career and reputation?