Thursday, June 23, 2016

988. Apocalypto

Directed by Mel Gibson

I have to hand it to Gibson, he rarely makes a boring film.  Still, that doesn't change the fact that he is an asshole, which is made abundantly clear in this movie.  I am no Mayan expert, but I know enough to know that their depiction in this film is inaccurate, mean-spirited, and ignorant.  Apparently Gibson doesn't believe in political correctness...or any kind of correctness at all.

Jaguar Paw's village is raided by a group of Mayans led by Zero Wolf.  Jaguar Paw's father is killed and his pregnant wife and child are left trapped in pit cave that is slowly filling with water.  Jaguar Paw is captured, along with the rest of the adults in the village.  The captives are taken to the city, where the women are sold into slavery and the men are to be offered as sacrifices.  Wasn't it the Aztecs that were into mass human sacrifice?  Fifth grade social studies seems like a very long time ago.  Anyway, the film follows Jaguar Paw's attempts to escape and reunite with his family.

Just like in Passion of the Christ, Gibson believes that having the characters speak in non English tongues is all that is needed to tell a historically accurate story.  I am not saying that everything he does has to be based on well documented facts, but this was just offensive.  And I thought Dances With Wolves was annoying.

Still, like I said, this certainly wasn't a dull film.  Gibson did a good job of building tension and the visuals were fairly stunning (and gross).  At the very least, I enjoyed this a lot more than Passion of the Christ.

RATING: **---

Interesting Facts:

In the film's teaser trailer the entire cast was different.

Body count of 114.


  1. I'd beg to differ on just one point .. I'm afraid I did find it a dull film.. but agree with all the rest about .. well, you pretty much said it all.

    1. I thought it was rather dull at the beginning but I did enjoy the tension that built from his wife and child being stuck in a pit that was slowly filling with water.

    2. Yeah, the second half is "Die Hard in a jungle". But the first part is dull and pointless (What was the point regarding all the bullying in the first scenes against someone who is not even a main character?).

      Regarding the Mayas' depiction, I agree that it seems unrealistic and offensive. However, I have been greatly surprised upon reading that not even Mesoamerican experts can decide on the accuracy of the film. Apparently, during the last days of Maya civilization, human sacrifice was also a regular practice among Mayas (due to influence from the Aztecs). Since there is still a sizable Maya population living in Mexico (while Aztec civilization has disappeared); I understand this aspect has been "de-emphasized" in textbooks over the years.

    3. Well I just clicked that link and oh my. That is super gross. I wonder how they chose the sacrifices?