Movie Review–Apocalypto

by Ryan on December 16, 2006

in Pop Culture

First of all, Apocalypto wasn’t trying to be the Mayan version of the Passion of the Christ and I did appreciate that it was its own movie. It was a tale set in Mayan times that tells the story of Jaguar Paw (pictured above) and his tribe going through the trials and tribulations of being conquered by an aggressive empire. It has simple morality messages about family and good v. evil, wrapped in Mel’s penchant for blood and gore. I didn’t think that the blood and gore was too bad, but I also knew that Gibson loves showing us what our imaginations could have figured out anyway when it comes to guts.

I agree with many of the critics that one can leave Apocalypto feeling somewhat flat. Don’t get me wrong, it was exciting, suspenseful, sad, I even laughed out loud a few times early on in the film. But it seemed void of any larger messages beyond the simple morality tale. It showed us the evils of totalitarianism, statism, religious fundamentalism, but it wasn’t played that way. It wasn’t allegory or satire and I think maybe in this case that would have made the movie better and more real. The sets were great, the subtitles did not distract too much, and the guts looked real, but alas the film did not really bring home “meaning” to any of its events in any real way.

As a stand alone piece of entertainment, I’d give the movie about a “B” for grandeur, story and authenticity. It just doesn’t reach that extra peak of relevance. It plateaus as a good 2 hours 18 minutes of entertainment.

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