Richard Donner made The Omen and Superman, so I have to cut him some slack sometimes. He also made The Goonies, Scrooged, the Lethal Weapon movies and The Toy. So yeah. I give him plenty of slack.
The two met when Donner saw Helgeland holding a sign that said, “Will write for work, for money”. Donner had decided to give Helgeland a chance, which led to the two of them working on this movie and on Assassins.
Mel Gibson plays Jerry Fletcher, the nicest conspiracy-theorist and New York City taxi driver ever created by Hollywood, who is in love with Alice Sutton, a Justice Department lawyer played by Julia Roberts. She humors him because he once saved her from a mugging, but then again, he also stalks her.
Soon, they are both in conflict with CIA doctor Dr. Jonas (Patrick Stewart), who coincidentally experimented on Fletcher and killed Sutton’s father. You know how it works in these big budget conspiracy affairs.
Here’s something that also shouldn’t surprise you: Gibson ad-libbed all of his lines as a cabbie as he scares his passengers with his ranting theories.