Apocalypto: Typical Mel Gibson?

Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to rent a movie with one of my good friends. We used the new McDonald’s renting system, $1 for 1 day. First off, I must say that’s a very nifty little service that McDonald’s is cashing in on. Next, I’ll get right to it: The movie we rented was Apocalypto, Mel Gibson’s film about the battles between Mayan tribes. I had been hyped up about seeing it. Several people had praised the film and given it high recommendations. It wasn’t bad. I’ll say that now. It sounds like I’m leading up to bash the movie. I’m not. Others said it was a typical Mel Gibson movie, which means torture, people close to the main character dying, and a bloodbath in revenge. This seems to fit his other movies: Braveheart, The Patriot, etc. And it seemed true to this one to some extent. It varied slightly compared to his other movies which all seem to follow the same mold. (But I still liked all of those movies too.)

My take on the movie was this: it was okay.

The movie followed Jaguar Paw’s (a young father) perspective as he and his father go into the forest hunting a wild boar with a handful of their village’s warriors. They encounter an entire tribe deep in the woods who are battered and beaten and ask only for safe passage. Jaguar Paw’s father gives them his blessing through the forest and the two tribes part ways. Jaguar Paw tries to find out what happened, but his father tells him to “be still.” Before they enter their own village, his father tells him not to bring fear into their homes.

The next morning, a new, vicious tribe attacks and kills many of Jaguar Paw’s people and takes the rest as captives. His own pregnant wife and young son are overlooked deep within the cavern-like hole that he lowered them into. Jaguar Paw is taken captive as well and the captors take them out of the forest into their giant city to sacrifice them to the Sun God to appease his appetite.

This is all superstition and obviously the sacrifices are for nothing. Jaguar Paw narrowly escapes and the rest of the movie is one very long, very drawn out chase scene. Much running through tree ensues. This is broken up by short conflicts between Jaguar Paw and the men chasing after him.

However, in the end, the movie was simplistic. The storyline was not complex and very easy to grasp. Overall, the events are very sad. I found the movie to be much more graphically violent than Gibson’s movies seem to be normally. There was too much gore, which usually doesn’t bother or affect me. What did bother me was the clear detail with which this is all depicted.

All in all, it wasn’t a waste of time. The movie was quick to get started and didn’t seem to drag much. Plenty happened on their trek back to the grand Mayan city and plenty happened during the long chase scene to prevent it from being tedious. I still only give this movie a 3 out of 5. It could have been much worse but it could have been much better.

About the Author: Heather

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