Mel Gibson’s at it again in Edge of Darkness! No, not just acting (though he is doing that for the first time in six years): Rather, he’s indulging his paranoia. In Darkness, Gibson once again uncovers a nefarious plot that’s targeting — guess who? — him. So what are Gibson’s most paranoid roles?
The Passion of the Christ (2004)
Who’s After Mel? The Romans, naturally.
While Gibson had the good sense not to cast himself as Jesus and give away the entire persecution game, he did write, direct and produce The Passion. You know the plot, but suffice it to say that Gibson did not make even a little effort to spare the audience from the gruesome torture and death of Jesus, played by Gibson stand-in Jim Caviezel.
The Patriot (2002)
Who’s After Mel? The redcoats, that’s who.
Gibson’s just a regular colonial American farmer with a heart of gold (and the ability to kill anyone he likes in the blink of an eye) — or at least he was until those over-taxing Brits came to town, killed his kid and burned down his family home. Gibson’s response is typical: As in Braveheart and Lethal Weapon, he murders just about everyone who crosses his path.
Conspiracy Theory (1997)
Who’s After Mel? The U.S. Government!
In this case, a shady CIA psychiatrist (Patrick Stewart) and his goons are trying to kill Mel to cover up the fact they’ve been pursuing some psychotherapy experiments of dubious legality. This may be the ultimate Gibson persecution role in that his character is a conspiracy theory nut who, it turns out, is right! Makes you wonder if this the way Mel Gibson is in real life.
Who’s After Mel? A corrupt NYPD cop (Gary Sinise).
Gibson, playing an airline magnate, is again the target of a plot to
ruin him! Surprise, surprise. This time, Sinise and his cohorts kidnap
Gibson’s son and demand $2 million, only to have the tables turned on
them when Mel places a $4 million bounty on their heads. Take that
conspirators: You have to get up pretty early in the morning to fool
Mel Gibson with a plan to extort millions from him.
Who’s After Mel? Who isn’t?
As rabble-rousing Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace, Gibson is on his way to emancipating his fledgling nation from British rule when he’s betrayed by Scottish noblemen who sell him to the King of England. You likely know the rest: Gibson is tortured and killed on the cross for his ideals. More torture here, a very creepy theme that goes on throughout Gibson’s career.
Who’s After Mel? Ruthless Uncle Claudius (Alan Bates).
In this movie version of the Shakespeare play, Gibson takes on the titular role of the Danish prince whose father is murdered by his uncle to usurp the throne. Once again, Mel finds himself right in the middle of a good ol’ fashioned murder plot. Of course, it doesn’t end well for Gibson, but that’s probably the way he likes it: Meeting his downfall through royal family intrigue.
Lethal Weapon (1987)
Who’s After Mel? A group of former U.S. soldiers.
While their original target isn’t Gibson, he of course gets caught up in their heroin-smuggling plot, and they spend the latter half of the movie trying to kill him and partner Danny Glover. In another unsurprising twist, Gibson is tortured at one point in the movie.