Apocalypto Mel Gibson

Apocalypto Mel Gibson
Could you imagine seeing the title Mel Gibson’s Lethal Jungle on a theatre marquee? Were there truth in advertising, you would have. The Gibson, as he may eventually ordain himself (and plunk in front of a movie’s title in font big enough to upstage the feature) has essentially crafted the most visually stunning and gorgeously detailed action/comedy/chase film Hollywood has ever seen. A young tribal hunter named Jaguar Paw from the jungles of Central America is the focus of Apocalypto. His people’s simple, proud and suspiciously sitcom-ish way of life is threatened by the invasion of savage warriors (supposedly Mayans, though they appear more similar in historical testament to Aztecs but hey, it’s Mel’s movie and he claims to have researched his zany ass off in his hammed up commentary track) who ransack the village, rape and kill the women, capture the young men and leave the children behind. This sequence is amongst the most effective in the film’s harrowingly plausible depiction of barbaric warfare, containing moments that admittedly made even the director cringe. From here, Apocolypto reveals familiar clichés of villainy and heroism amongst its principle cast, with the mostly first time actors seeming infected with Mel’s over-the-top character immersion technique. The viewer is treated to some loose prophecy, a gloriously constructed Mayan city teeming with meticulously detailed inhabits, blood spurting heart sacrifices and a climactic chase that pumps enough adrenaline to outpace any cinematic vehicular equivalent. One must commend Mel’s ambition and zeal in undertaking such a daunting task. As revealed in the "making of” feature, he throws his whole heart and much of his deep wallet into achieving a realistic recreation of a civilisation’s cultural aesthetic, even though he doesn’t know exactly which culture, or time period, he’s attempting to represent. With only one deleted scene, which is barely cut anyway, the special features make it clear that this is Mel’s complete vision and every element is absolutely intentional, however fuzzy the historical accuracy. (Buena Vista)