Video: "The Beaver" trailer

Alternate headline: “Video: Second-worst thing ever recorded in any medium.” (You know what the worst is.) Strange but true: There was an episode of the “Golden Girls” based on this same plot contrivance, except that (a) instead of a beaver, it involved a monkey made out of a parking cone, and (b) it was, mercifully, played for laughs instead of being enlisted in yet another sickeningly sweet Hollywood redemption melodrama about a broken man who learns to appreciate his family again (see, e.g., “Regarding Henry,” “The Family Man,” etc, all the way back to the first and greatest entry in the genre). If that was all there was to it, it’d be merely annoying, but what makes this transcendently bad is, of course, the fact that it’s Mel Gibson’s big comeback. What better way to wipe the slate clean than by playing a guy who’s conspicuously insane, saddled with a gimmick that would seem heavy-handed even for an SNL skit? Lucky thing for Mel that it was directed by Jodie Foster; that’ll ensure that critics take it seriously, even if “the beaver” starts mumbling about Jews having started all the world’s wars or whatever.