Director: Mel Gibson
Starring: Rudy Youngblood, Dalia Hernandez,
Jonathan Brewer, Morris Bird, Carlos Emilio Baez, Amilcar
Ramirez, Israel Contreras Vasquez
RunTime: 2 hrs 19 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Opening Day: 18 January 2007
"Apocalypto" Soundtrack Review
Academy Award® winning filmmaker Mel Gibson ("The
Passion of The Christ," "Braveheart"), comes
"Apocalypto": a heart stopping mythic action-adventure
set against the turbulent end times of the once great Mayan
civilization. When his idyllic existence is brutally disrupted
by a violent invading force, a man is taken on a perilous
journey to a world ruled by fear and oppression where a harrowing
end awaits him. Through a twist of fate and spurred by the
power of his love for his woman and his family he will make
a desperate break to return home and to ultimately save his
way of life.
We are definitely not the best people to impress you with
academic historical facts about the Mayan civilization. So,
we initially thought this film would be a great opportunity
to enrich our humble knowledge bank with the community’s
hell no, this fourth full-length feature directed by Mel “Mad
Max” Gibson only convinced us that the actor-producer-director
is has reached his lunatic best.
you remember, Gibson was the man who bravely brought to screen
the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in 2004’s The Passion
of the Christ. And that landmark film was also the first M18
movie to grace our little island for graphic violence.
his latest work, Gibson has proved that he is a man who daringly
approaches violence with no bars held. And what a bloody picture
simple plot tells the story of how a village in a Mayan civilization
is taken captive, and how one protagonist goes against all
odds to escape his fatal destiny and reunite with the family
he holds dearest to his heart.
movie opens with a scene where a tapir is slaughtered in the
woods for food. That is just the mildest of things to come.
We’d hope that provides some mental preparation for
viewers with a weaker stomach. Decapitation, broken limbs
and lots of spurting blood are probably not everyone’s
cup of tea.
aside, the movie is an also a grand excuse for Gibson to film
in the exotic jungles of Mexico, and to showcase the lushness
of the greenery there. There are also fierce rivers, dangerous
cliffs and steep waterfalls for landscape lovers to ogle at.
the town where the enemies reside is a reason for the filmmakers
to dress the cast up in tribal costumes, complete with bright
and strange makeup to entice the bored audience in us. The
grandeur of the set design is definitely a showcase of creativity
you can tell by now, what started off as a potentially serious
and important chronicle of a civilization’s downfall
gradually becomes a visual spectacle littered with extreme
violence and bloodshed. The 139-minute movie eventually becomes
a typical Hollywood thrill ride where the more engaged viewers
can squint and scream at every nerve-wrecking scene.
viewers who do not buy Gibson’s tactic of using sadism
and brutality to shock audiences will not be impressed by
how the movie unfolds. It simply churns out scene after scene
of cruel and hostile aggression, which conveniently kills
off the villains one by one.
matter which camp you belong to, you have to take your hats
off to Gibson’s bold vision in bringing this movie to
screen. It ultimately makes a good popcorn adventure which
will keep you at the edge of your seats.
is aided by top notch production values which range from an
entire cast of unknowns (whose convincing performances make
us wonder how these people will look if we dressed them in
modern clothes), a breathtaking cinematography by Dean Semler
(Waterworld, We Were Soldiers), and a very disturbingly unsettling
music underscore composed by James Horner (Troy, The New World).
enticing aspects are enough to make those with braver and
stronger hearts sit through the entire movie, even if the
last half an hour is a blatant “we-won’t stop-until-everyone-dies”
probably realize by now you won’t be leaving the cinema
knowing more about the Mayan civilization. Yes, you’d
still need to go to history books for that.
(Though flawed in some ways, this brilliantly-filmed adrenalin-pumping
movie is still a daring effort by Mel Gibson)
by John Li