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.