I just got home from seeing it, and although it is very powerful and emotional (exxxxxxxxxxtrrrrreeeeeeeemmmmmellly graphic)...I really didn't like the movie. It's hard to say that, as its a movie about Jesus, but overall I felt the movie was...shallow.
The reason why I say that is because there was no depth to the movie, it just really details the one thing everyone knows about Jesus...his crucifiction. Granted, I feel that it is good to see just how horrific and terrible the crucifiction was, however that IS NOT the point of Jesus' life. Not at all. It's about the man behind the crucifiction, his life, what he did and stood for...those things is what really makes the crucifiction meaningful. The horrific images themselves have nothing to do with Christ, and I'm sure if he wanted to show people his message, it wouldn't be solely about his crucifiction and the details of it. I don't even think he would talk about that too much.
I walked out of the movie feeling nothing but the queesiness of seeing someone brutally tortured and killed. I didn't feel moved in a spiritual sense at all, because the crucifiction wasn't built up to mean anything. The point of the movie, from my perspective, was solely to show the gruesome details of his death. In the end, people are left to their own imaginations and upbringing as to who Jesus was and why he did what he did. That could be a good and a bad thing, in my mind. For the most part, I don't think the movie will really move many people except for those who already know and understand the story of Christ...since the movie really doesn't explain or go into more than the horrific images of his death....from start to finish.
I do like some of the things that were included in the movie that are generally left out of most Christ movies, such as the curtain of the Most High being torn in two, the blood and the water from the stab wound, etc. However, many of these inclusions arent going to be in anyway meaningful to those who don't know the fine details and meanings behind some of these things. In the end, much of the movie was made for those who have a deep knowledge of the life of Christ...not for those who don't.
Overall, I feel the movie, though powerful in many ways, wasn't that great. The movie showed everything about the crucifiction, but little of the man. So is the "Passion of Christ" simply because he died in such a terrible way? The answer is most definately no. But the movie barely touched on why he died at all. What moves people about Christ isn't just because he was tortured and killed in such a horrific way, but because of who he is and what he did. The ending of his life is sooooooooo much more meaningful and moving when you are able to experience the man behind it (a man who saved lives, raised the dead, forgave, taught great lessons, overcame great adversity, etc). Even from a non-religious point of view, how many great movies show the hero gettting tortured and killed without first showing who the hero is? Would a movie even be good at all without showing us the inner being of the hero before he is taken from us? Even if Mel Gibson wanted to focus on the crucifiction, much more could have been added so that we could experience the death of Christ fully...not just witness an actor getting ripped apart.
Because there was little to no character developement (of Jesus and also of the other characters...who are all in the move basically to cry and thats it), it is very difficult for me to walk out of the movie feeling that I was moved. Instead of feeling bittersweet, inspired, or moved in anyway, I was upset and squeamish simply from watching a man get beat, tortured, and killed. I would have had the same experience if I watched a movie about anyone getting treated in that fashion. Where's the power in that?