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Forget any off-screen impressions you may have of Mel Gibson, and experienceApocalyptoas the mad, bloody runaway train that it is. The story is set in the pre-Columbian Maya population: one village is brutally overrun, its residents either slaughtered or abducted, by a ruling tribe that needs slaves and human sacrifices. We focus on the capable warrior Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood), although Gibson skillfully sketches a whole population of characters--many of whom don't survive the early reels. Most of the film is set in the dense jungle, but the middle section, in a grand Mayan city, is a dazzling triumph of design, costuming, and sheer decadent terror. The movie itself is a triumph of brutality, as Gibson lets loose his well-established fascination with bodily mortification in a litany of assaults including impalement, evisceration, snakebite, and bee stings. It's a dark, disgusted vision, but Gibson doesn't forget to apply some very canny moviemaking instincts to the violence--including the creation of a tremendous pair of villains (strikingly played by Raoul Trujillo and Rodolfo Palacias). The film is in a Maya dialect, subtitled in English, and shot on digital video (which occasionally betrays itself in some blurry quick pans). Amidst all the mayhem, nothing in the film is more devastating than a final wordless exchange of looks between captured villager Blunted (Jonathan Brewer) and his wife's mother (Maria Isabel Diaz), a superb change in tone from their early relationship. Yes, this is an obsessive, crazed movie, but Gibson knows what he's doing.--Robert Horton
More films directed by Mel Gibson
Apocalyptosoundtrack by James Horner
Stills fromMel Gibson's Apocalypto(click for larger image)
Don't judge it against the great films of all time. It is good in its own right as a fast-paced action flick. For a story which spans only about 24 hours, I can understand any apprehension about the plot, which seems weak when you think about it. But while the movie played I never felt it lacking.
It is not a movie that you will find overwhelmingly intellectual. Apocalypto is a brutal movie. Most of it is very intense and suspenseful, but it is a movie you should see only if you are ok with some very graphic scenes.
I thought the acting, what little there was, was good. The story was believable (enough), but the writers took some creative shortcuts which were clearly for convenience. I do not think this movie was made for its story, which was simply woven around some powerful scenes. It was these scenes which made Apocalypto a gory thrill ride.
I watched this movie in the middle of the day with a friend. There was no pressure to sit quietly and try to digest its formal elements. We were free to bounce around in our seats and ooooh and ahhhh during some of the more gruesome scenes. It made for a fun movie-watching experience and probably facilitated my enjoyment of Apocalypto.
SUPERB! WONDERFUL! ACCURATE! Well, at last we have a movie depicting the unrelenting savagery of the Aboriginals ( in this case the Mayan ) of the Americas with some grasp of historically-accurate TRUTH and FACT. One simply needs to read "The Conquest of Mexico" to understand that this movie really does scratch the surface of the blood-soaked nightmare world of ultra-violent, brutal, merciless Hell which "human beings" had created for themselves prior to the arrival of Europeans. APOCALYPTO drives the reality of this horror-filled Hell home to the viewer with jackhammer impact!
Good old Mel has finally come through with a show worth watching for the sake of historic accuracy rather than for mere visual thrills and a taste of his personal biases. Other Gibson movies which people have raved about ( The Patriot and Brave Heart ) have absolutely nothing to do with accurately depicting factual historic events and aren't worth a sneeze compared to what Mel has offered with this gem.
From the standpoint of my personal pleasure, the best thing about this show is the way it rubs the noses of the Politically Correct droolers and snivelers directly into a masterfully accurate depiction of what was TYPICAL inter-tribal behavior among Indians throughout what eventually became known as the "new World"! I mean really, when the history-ignorant dolts who comprise the general public are routinely served lunatic atrocities such as "DANCES WITH WOLVES", a movie containing APOCALYPTO's many exceptional qualities comes like a breath of fresh air amidst the vile putrescent stench of Politically Correct fact-distorting ROT which perpetually clouds the mental atmosphere of most people these days.
Three cheers for APOCALYPTO, and another three for Mel Gibson! Cogratulations, Mel! You hit one right out of the park this time!!!!
THIS IS WHAT A MOVIE DEPICTING HISTORIC EVENTS AND PERIODS SHOULD BE.Brilliant Film Work Everything in this film is brilliant; the acting, directing, writing, sets, cinematography--everything! It has been so long since so much human emotion has been conveyed with such realism as in this work of art.
No, films are NOT about being "historically accurate." To those critics I say, "Write your own book." And after you do, get a life.
Mel Gibson has out done himself here. Add another gem to his filmography.
Ridley Scott needs to dust off his cameras and rise to the challenge layed down here, because Mel Gibson has moved into his category of directors.