Mel Gibson's new movie Force of Nature has caused controversy before release

Yuritza Arroyo
·4 min read
Photo credit: Lionsgate
Photo credit: Lionsgate

From Digital Spy

Mel Gibson's new movie Force of Nature has created a major controversy, even before it's been released.

The movie takes place in Puerto Rico during a category 5 hurricane with Gibson playing Ray who, along with his daughter (Kate Bosworth), refuses to evacuate his apartment building during the storm.

As disgraced cop Cardillo (Emile Hirsch) tries to get them to leave, a gang of thieves arrives to carry out a heist, leaving Ray, his daughter and Cardillo to team up to fight them off.

Photo credit: Lionsgate
Photo credit: Lionsgate

Once the trailer was released on Monday (May 18), Force of Nature created an instant controversy as Puerto Ricans who experienced Hurricane Maria, as well as the struggles they've dealt with on the island, let their feelings known.

“Approximately 4,645 people died because of this hurricane. Approximately, because it was bad enough we don’t even have exact numbers," one Twitter user wrote.

"People buried their dead in their backyards. People were without food, water, homes, electricity, for MONTHS. This is not an okay movie."

Others criticised the movie for its 'white saviour' narrative with Gibson's character "fighting a bunch of 'bad guy' ricans also all the good guy cops are white", while another called it "outright disrespectful".

(Warning, the tweets contain fruity language)

Journalist Andrew J Padilla also highlighted the injustices of tax breaks in the film industry of Puerto Rico, and how making movies like Force of Nature does not help the local talent.

"Painful to see how tax breaks luring Hollywood films (and jobs) to Puerto Rico can produce films that disappear our very reality," Padilla wrote.

"Trauma Center (2019) starring Bruce Willis, Force of Nature (2020) starring Mel Gibson. What's next? Aftershock (2021) starring Justin Bieber?"

While Force of Nature is set in Puerto Rico during a hurricane, others have pointed out that it's not about Hurricane Maria and is fictional.

But we'll just have to wait and see what the reaction is when Force of Nature arrives on digital, DVD and Blu-ray on June 30.

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