Saturday, May 22, 2010

Capsule Review: Apocalypto (2006)

After The Passion of the Christ (and re-watching Braveheart) I was just about done with Mel Gibson as a filmmaker. While obviously visually gifted, his films simply seemed designed for audiences with cinematic needs different than my own. It was this cynicism that brought me to Apocalypto, Gibson's film of a young Mayan attempting to escape human sacrifice to get back to his wife and child. Filmed entirely in the Yucatec Maya language (with subtitles), the entire concept seemed a little too gimmicky, and the subject matter held little appeal, so I was particularly surprised to be enraptured and fascinated by what amounts to a particular unique chase film. Think The Warriors, only set in the 16th century. While slow to start, the film picks up speed before reaching a breathtaking pace as Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood) must escape from the hordes in pursuit of him and return to his wife before her hiding spot fills with water. A very pleasant surprise.


J.T. said...

I have had to approach Mel Gibson movies the same way I deal with Chuck Norris films and Tom Cruise films.

Passion, Apocalypto, and Braveheart are awesome movies and I just have to divorce my feelings about Gibson the Person from Gibson the Performer.

Shaun said...

It is always the talented people that are really odd to us of the normal region of humans. Mel Gibson is a perfect example of that, just like the last commenter said, you have to remove your feeling from the person to the performer. He is an outstanding actor, and director, even if the movies don’t thrill me beyond belief. Apocalypto is a great movie. I thought like you did it would be too gimmicky with the sub titles, but the native language adds so much to the movie that you don’t think it will. I had not seem the movie in 5 years until I saw it on the Starz page of DISH online, 138 minutes alter I remember why I liked it. When I brought it up to the movie nerd I work with at DISH during our usual Monday morning what movies did you watch this weekend, I surprised that I watched he had never watched and apparently had no desire to watch, but to each his own.