It’s not often that a popular actor sunk in disgrace and surrounded by media and movie-biz hostility can mount a comeback. But as Kurt Loder reports, The Beaver is something of a triumph for Mel Gibson. Diving down into the alcoholism and manic depression he has implicated in his appalling behavior in recent years, Gibson has resurfaced with one of his most moving performances. This is all the more remarkable because the film’s premise seems so wildly unlikely, if not ludicrous.
Once you’ve taken in the title—or the two-minute fake trailer to which it was originally attached—you’ve pretty much gotten the joke that director Jason Eisener has now inflated into Hobo with a Shotgun. It’s a good joke, Loder writes, complete with blood, violence, and bikini girls, but it’s not necessarily a gag you want to see elaborated for 86 minutes.