No longer quite so movie star handsome, Gibson's deeply lined features and thinning mane complement a performance that is finely tuned and textured -- mournful, cunning, determined and explosive with rage.
Mr. Gibson's performance is certainly intense, but the gleeful energy he once brought to such hits as Lethal Weapon -- or even to Conspiracy Theory, an excellent flop -- has turned toxic, and his somber scourge is no fun at all.
This crisp, gripping drama of brutal criminal intrigue and sinister moral violence is smart and absorbing in its every nuance, and Gibson dominates the elaborate action with an assured performance that's as authoritative as it is affecting.
The plot complications involving nuclear waste and political maneuvering have been trivialized beyond all meaning. But watching Gibson in a revenge fantasy feeds all my needs for a bloodlusting B-movie feast.
Gibson, who has always been an undervalued actor, does a sturdy job as a grieving dad who still engages in conversations with his dead child; it's almost a letdown when he puts aside his mourning sickness and spirals into melodrama.