With more than a suggestion of a horror film about it, Gibson's searing, bloody re-creation of Christ's tormented last hours - from arrest in Gethsemane, to trial, crucifixion and resurrection - is hard to recommend to any but the curious or the converted. Its insistence on the ugly physical nature of the ordeal is almost expressionist - the endless beatings, stonings, flailings and the like would have killed any man long before we see the welt-skeined, naked body hammered to the cross in slo-mo and extreme close-up. Arguably, the script by Gibson and Benedict Fitzgerald epitomises one Western tradition of gruesome iconic depictions of the Passion; but their extrapolations from the four Gospels suggest an anti-semitic interpretation that has no biblical justification, and their use of ludicrously intoned, subtitled Aramaic and Latin is a pretentious bid for authenticity. In technical terms, the film is occasionally impressive. Caleb Deschanel's careful compositions provide an ostensibly credible biblical setting, even if John Debney's epic-lite score is unable to match Gibson's extremist vision. But the film's characterisations deliver no insights. A negative and spiritually underwhelming experience.