Industry pundits have been comparing the potential impact of Mel Gibson doing a bit part as a Thailand-based tattoo artist in "The Hangover 2" to the spectacular cameo of Mike Tyson as himself in "The Hangover." I think the only way a Gibson bit could work is if the filmmakers spent whatever money they have left in their budget to make a tell-all documentary and release it first. (That's Gibson stonewalling Ray Winstone, above, in "Edge of Darkness.")
After all, it was James Toback's "Tyson" that paved the way for audiences' acceptance of Tyson in "The Hangover." Toback's incisive, empathetic documentary wasn't an account of redemption; the documentary itself was Tyson's redemption.
Explaining his triumphs as well as his wretched excesses, Tyson brought viewers the only gift he had left: the ability to help us understand what it's like to live on the edge of an abyss -- and sometimes deep inside it. That may be all that Gibson has to offer us right now. And why not hire Toback to do the documentary? The man who directed "Black and White" wouldn't let Gibson off the hook about racism or anti-Semitism. What do you think?