Jonathan Melville: Make or break for Gibson’s career

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THIS week, I was planning to report on the return to cinema screens of Braveheart himself, Mel Gibson, in the action thriller How I Spent My Summer Vacation, the film that could remake or break his career.

That was until the local press screening was cancelled at the last minute because the film reel had not been delivered by the courier. Unfortunate, yes, but it is not a good omen for a film that’s going straight to television in America under the title Get the Gringo. It’ll then make its way to DVD and Blu-ray later this year. (See review, right)

It’s all a far cry from the days when a new Lethal Weapon movie was announced with a huge PR campaign and Mad Max fans still held out hope that the ageing road warrior might be persuaded to star in a new entry to the series.

As it is, we’re left with an actor who, partly due to his very public problems with alcohol, has seen his Hollywood image tarnished, possibly for good.

Even his most outspoken supporters must wonder quite where it all went so wrong.

I’ve always enjoyed the Mad Max films, have watched Maverick at least a dozen times, bought the Director’s Cut of Payback on DVD from the US a few years ago and have Braveheart pre-ordered on Blu-ray.

Even though it’s impossible to condone any of Gibson’s actions, up to now I’ve had no problem disassociating his screen persona from the man we now regularly see splashed across the internet for all the worst reasons.

I wonder if the time has come for Gibson to step out of the spotlight to get any help he needs and to reassess his career. I’ll be avoiding his latest movie but perhaps in a few years the stage will be set for a proper comeback.

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