Jim Caviezel passed up a chance to be a character in one of the best comic book movies ever made. The actor recently told The Seattle Times that he was cast as Cyclops for the original X-Men movie, a box-office and critical hit in 2000. But then another script came along, and Caviezel, who says he was "literally in costume as Cyclops," bolted the X set and took the other acting gig instead.
The Passion of the Christ? Nope. That would come later. Caviezel passed up the chance to be a superhero with "optic fire blasts" to instead play the role of …. a boat racer. That's Caviezel's gig in Madison, a film that, though shot in 2001, had been shelved for more than three years before hitting theaters today.
Back when Caviezel made his decision, no one suspected that Bryan Singer's big gamble would become the best blockbuster franchise of the recent comic-book adaptation surge. At the time, Madison might have seemed like a wise choice. That's a shame. As action movies go, the X-Men flicks are bursting with creativity, passion, and directorial imagination, and they're surprisingly meaningful and relevant. Madison, on the other hand, is flat, formulaic, and forgettable.
It's hard not to wonder if William Brindley's lackluster movie about hydroplane racing was shelved because of its flaws. It may be that it's coming to theatres now only because the name "Caviezel" is popular with a sizeable audience, thanks to Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Madison is revving with good intentions, but it runs a predictable course with no distinct style to set it apart. And it's a hero story that asks us to accept some rather questionable decisions.
The true story of hydroplane hero Jim McCormick certainly sounds matinee-worthy. In 1971, ...1
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