New Mel Gibson movie slammed for ‘disrespectful’ and ‘tone-deaf’ portrayal of Puerto Rico hurricane


Clémence Michallon (The Independent) writes about responses to Force of Nature, a new movie starring Mel Gibson that has come under criticism over its portrayal of a hurricane in Puerto Rico. Kate Bosworth and Emile Hirsch also star in the action film

The trailer for Force of Nature was unveiled on Monday by People. Gibson stars as a retired officer refusing to leave his apartment even as a category-five hurricane begins to hit Puerto Rico. It soon turns out that Gibson’s character wants to stop a group of men planning on stealing $55m during the catastrophe. Kate Bosworth stars as Gibson’s daughter, while Emile Hirsch portrays one of the police officers originally dispatched to the father-daughter duo’s building.

Force of Nature is being released on 30 June via video on demand, as well as on DVD and Blu-ray.

After the trailer was revealed, several Twitter users criticised its premise, deeming it “tone-deaf” and disrespectful”. The movie doesn’t reference a specific natural disaster, but some found that the plot didn’t sit well with regards to the devastating Hurricane Maria, a category-five hurricane that hit Puerto Rico in 2017.

“It’s outright disrespectful to the people who went through the traumatic experience that was Hurricane Maria, for Mel Gibson and any Hollywood company to come to Puerto Rico and make a movie where the islanders are the bad guys, and he and the white people are the good guys,” one person tweeted.

“So I just saw that Mel Gibson is trending and why… Dude, if you’re going to do a movie about PR being hit by Cat 5 hurricane, could actually make it something meaningful, revolving around Boricuas that had to suffer through that kind of disaster, and not whatever this s*** is?” someone else wrote.

Another person commented: “Umm a heist in the middle of a hurricane devastation in Puerto Rico with Mel Gibson saving the day? #ForceofNature​ feels too soon and tone-deaf.”


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