Says Market-Sensitive Mel, “by softening some of its more wrenching aspects, I hope to make the film and its message of love available to a wider audience.

Yes, “wrenching aspects” such as JESUS CHRIST BEING NAILED TO A CROSS. Or what the New Yorker’s David Denby described as the Crucifixion itself, dramatized with a curious fixation on the technical details”an arm pulled out of its socket, huge nails hammered into hands, with Jim Caviezel jumping after each whack. At that point, I said to myself, œMel Gibson has lost it, and I was reminded of what other writers have pointed out”that Gibson, as an actor, has been beaten, mashed, and disembowelled in many of his movies. His obsession with pain, disguised by religious feelings, has now reached a frightening apotheosis.

But hey, if basic cable can show “The Sopranos” and “Sex and The City” without the f-bomb, perhaps it is possible to convey the enormity of Christ’s crucifixion without showing huge nails being pounded into hands. And if Gibson can do anything to hurt the box office performance of “The Pacifier”, perhaps some good will come of this exercise after all.