The Evolution Of Mel Gibson
Mad Max (1979)
The Film: D irected by George Miller, this dystopian nightmare figures the MFP (Main Force Patrol) into a post-apocalyptic world where insane boy racers have take possession of the roads.
The Role: It’s the one that put Gibson on the film map. Max (he doesn’t have a last name) doesn’t say much.
But as the world heaps injustices upon him, he takes remorse-free revenge. What makes Max mad? Watch and learn.
The Threads: Very creaky black leather, in keeping with the uniform of the MFP.
The Year of Living Dangerously (1983)
The Film: Considered an epic by Australian standards back in the ‘80s, this drama cost MGM just $6m to make. It’s set in Indonesia during the overthrowing of President Surkarno.
Access to film in Indonesia was denied, and Gibson received death threats from Muslims who believed that the film would take an anti-Islam stance.
The Role: Gibson plays Australian journalist Guy Hamilton, who is sent to report on the situation in Jakarta.
The Threads: Heat-battling unbuttoned shirts and loose ties.
Lethal Weapon (1987)
The Film: Buddy cop action flick, in which Gibson co-stars with Danny Glover. It's dedicated to one of the film’s stuntmen, who died shortly after filming.
The Role: Gibson beat the better-known Bruce Willis to the role of Detective Riggs. Maybe it was the mullet.
Sparring with Glover, Gibson brings his own inimitable charm to loveable rogue Riggs, who hates the fact that he’s ended up with a partner. He loved the role so much he returned for three sequels.
The Threads: Threadbare denim that’s very high-wasted
The Film: Gibson’s second time in the directing chair earned him his first Oscar. Not bad at all.
Factual inaccuracies aside (we went into them here ), the Aussie emboldens his story of William Wallace with some sweeping imagery and a strong central turn as the man himself.
The Role: Essentially transporting Max (the Mad one) to medieval times, Gibson dons a wig and blue war paint as Wallace.
He’s the kind of hero who sticks to his principles even when his guts are spilling out. Impressive.
The Threads: A lovely kilt and one heck of a big sword.
The Film: Remake of the 1956 thriller of the same name, which was in turn based on an episode of The United States Steel Hour called ‘Fearful Decision’.
When airline owner Tom Mullen’s son is kidnapped and held ransom, a drawn out negotiation could end in tragedy.
The Role: Gibson earned a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of a rich everyman faced with an extraordinarily terrible situation.
The Threads: Like Simon Cowell, he’s rich, but his threads don’t reflect that. So it’s mostly a black t-shirt, in keeping with his mood.
Chicken Run (2000)
The Film: Set in Yorkshire in the ‘50s, this Aardman claymation was originally called A Few Good Hen .
It translates the plot of The Great Escape to the lives of chickens, where the inhabitants of a chicken coup on Tweedy farm hatch a desperate scheme to get out before they’re made into pies.
The Role: Voicing Rocky Rhodes, the rooster. Literally crash landing into the coup, Rocky is an arrogant, swaggering American who might hold the key to the hens’ escape.
The Threads: We don’t know what he wore in the recording studio, but Rocky doesn’t wear very much at all.
What Women Want (2000)
The Film: Does Gibson know what the fairer sex want? He sure finds out in this rom-com, in which his character begins to hear their thoughts.
It had a budget of $70m. It took a belief-beggaring $374m worldwide. Guess Mel really does know what women want.
The Role: “What's the difference between a wife and a job? After 10 years a job still sucks.”
Gibson reveals he is still funny with the role of alpha male Nick Marshall. Cue rom-com hijinks aplenty.
The Threads: Tights. Oh yes.
We Were Soldiers (2002)
The Film: Following the 1965 Battle of la Drang, which kick-started American involvement in the Vietnam War.
Director Randall Wallace reeled over 150 hours of film during production.
The flick’s body count comes to a staggering 305.
The Role: Gibson re-enters the battlefield as Colonel Hal Moore, displaying a staggering range of emotions as the Colonel is faced with the horrors of war.
The Threads: Army uniform, natch.
The Film: Gibson jumps aboard the Shyamalan Express for the director’s fifth big screen outing, his first after Unbreakable .
Set in Pennsylvania, it’s the story of a family who find a crop circle in the corn field by their house. Did aliens really put it there?
The Role: Showing off his softer side, Gibson plays a preacher who has lost his faith.
The part was originally scripted as much older, but Gibson came onboard when both Clint Eastwood and Paul Newman turned down offers.
The Threads: Flannel shirt. Because he lives in the country, or something.
Edge of Darkness (2010)
The Film: Back to acting after a few years spent flexing his directorial muscles, Gibson heads up Martin Green Lantern Campbell’s thriller.
It’s released over here on 29 January.
The Role: Investigating the death of his daughter, a political activist, Gibson's Detective Craven discovers she had a secret life. Digging deeper, he uncovers government corruption and a sinister cover-up plot.
Gibson loves these revenge roles, and excels in taking Craven to the edge and threatening to topple him over it.
The Threads: A very serious trench coat.