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Overall Rating

Awesome: 35.29%
Worth A Look38.24%
Average: 9.56%
Pretty Bad: 11.76%
Total Crap: 5.15%

8 reviews, 88 user ratings

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by U.J. Lessing

"This Jew Thinks Mel's Movie is A-O-K!"
4 stars

If you’re looking for terse action and dynamic filmmaking, Mel Gibson’s latest foray into violence might be right up your alley. Just prepare yourself for a sizeable amount of sadism, bludgeoning and gore thrown in for good measure. If you want a true art film or a well-thought-out dogma look elsewhere.

The film introduces us to hunter Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngeblood), a tribesman living in the Mesoamerican jungle. His existence is idyllic: Jaguar Paw’s village prospers and he lives with his pregnant wife and child in peace and harmony.

Utopia quickly turns into hell however, when raiders led by Zero Wolf (Raoul Trujillo) burn the village to the ground, slaughter the elders and take the men and women prisoners. Jaguar Paw manages to hide his family in an empty well before he is caught.

Jaguar Paw and the other adults in the village are marched through the jungle and taken to a barren city where the women are sold into slavery and the men are to be sacrificed.

Through one of the most bizarre and improbable Deus ex machinas imaginable, Jaguar Paw escapes and is pursued by Zero Wolf and his band of warriors. Jaguar Hunter must simultaneously fight off the evil warriors and save his trapped family from certain death.

“Apocalypo” is both ambitious and beautiful. Historians and archeologists have debated the accuracy of the film, but Gibson does a beautiful job of transferring his audience to a new world without alienating them. Whether we’re in the Mesoamerican jungle or the bleak Mayan city, the environment feels very real. Despite the film’s technical proficiency, however, looking for meaning in it will only muddy the waters.

Gibson’s film appears on the surface to be an indictment of manifest destiny and reckless consumerism. The film begins with the quote by historian Will Durant, “"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within,” and presents Mayan civilization as abandoning all ethics and morals in favor of wealth and pleasure.

One wonders if Gibson truly believes that if the Mayans were all peaceful vegetarians frolicking in the woods, the conquistadors never would have invaded.

The overt theme is a false message designed to mask the real theme of the picture: How delightful it is to watch Good exact a violent revenge on Evil. “Apocalypto” is artistic, but at its core is a vigilante film with themes similar to “Rambo III” and “Braddock: Missing in Action 2.” The film may be exciting and engaging but as a code of ethics it falls flat.

“Apocalypto,” like Gibson’s previous two directorial efforts, deals the notion of violence invading men’s lives. Gibson enjoys making movies where kind and peaceful protagonists find their worlds utterly decimated by a brutal sadistic enemy who tortures without a moment’s hesitation. Whether his films are in English, Latin, Aramaic or Yucatec, the real language is that of masculinity personified in the face of emotionless evil.

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originally posted: 01/14/07 10:17:33
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Fantastic Fest For more in the 2006 Fantastic Fest series, click here.

User Comments

8/05/14 sara ausome movie 5 stars
10/06/11 TC Lol its not history. there is no historical account of a man named jaguar paw 5 stars
5/16/11 sam bonner apoalypto is an amazing, one of a kind movie and no honest person could deny it 5 stars
8/23/10 Stephen O'Donnell This film is an epic in every respect. The Academy is disgraced!!! 5 stars
8/04/09 Steve Hock Great movie! Great Kukulkan! 5 stars
9/05/08 Bob Uninspiring. The chase scene is well done, however a bit overkill timewise. 3 stars
8/27/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome storyline! 4 stars
6/04/08 ASH I thought this movie was excellent 5 stars
5/13/08 Dion Kay Get educated & lrn d history! This is NOT fiction or Star Wars, this IS HISTORY, u idiots! 5 stars
4/19/08 Karrie Millheim An amazing movie, i liked learning more about the Mayans 5 stars
3/08/08 Pamela White gripping story, filming, location and acting makes you forget subtitles 5 stars
2/12/08 Lorenzo Electrifying. A veritable masterpiece. 5 stars
12/17/07 gibson' alter ego got it too. a nutcase making crap & butchering history for his friend Mr jesus. hallelujah 1 stars
11/29/07 Dee "I got it", if you believe in Christ, (and I do) you are thankful he is your God. 5 stars
10/30/07 Double M I kept wondering what the point is till the 'end'. should've known better(signs). Tyvm, Mel 1 stars
10/16/07 beau a very upbeat movie, well made on a low budget, actors took good direction from mel 4 stars
8/18/07 Jubei A well filmed movie with very little research on Mayan culture.Entertaining. 3 stars
8/13/07 Annonomiss Brutal violence, endless chase. Really tough to watch. 2 stars
8/09/07 EZ $$ Great movie a little strange but still great 4 stars
7/29/07 Charles Tatum Solid, but not nearly the gorefest you are led to believe 4 stars
7/18/07 Indrid Cold Skillfully made, but about as deep as a frisbee. 3 stars
7/11/07 TreeTiger Excellent movie ... Braveheart in the Jungle. 5 stars
7/07/07 adam review the movie, not the director. you seem to have trouble with that (see:transformers) 5 stars
7/05/07 Piz Great Cinematic Adventure, a little gratuity but a great central character to root for 4 stars
6/19/07 sam bonner much better than people were expecting. A violent view of a lost world. 5 stars
6/16/07 mr.mike much better than expected 4 stars
6/06/07 tracey chambers beautiful movie. very violent but still a great movie 5 stars
6/03/07 fools♫gold People who charted the stars had no sanitation? I dunno... 5 stars
6/01/07 the wizz don't eat before watching. quite gory and intense. good movie 4 stars
5/14/07 matt Very enjoyable but not very deep. Hugely violent so basic Gibson fare 4 stars
5/09/07 Cindy awesome 5 stars
3/18/07 Alice Good work mel ! Great actors, visually perfect. 5 stars
2/24/07 Regina George didn't really survive the school bus accident Drags at first, then suspense mushrooms, then overkill at end. 4 stars
2/22/07 Beau extremely compelling, cant stop thinking about it!!! 4 stars
1/31/07 cherrian eecen an empty cinema at 9pm on Tuesday cheap night. A wonderful feeling of disquiet as I left 5 stars
1/25/07 tony L THE BEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!!! Action Packed! Symbolic. 5 stars
1/17/07 subba Daring and bold direction from Mel and a worth watch on big screen. 4 stars
1/15/07 Sumixam Fantastic movie - Very enjoyable 5 stars
1/09/07 MP Bartley Bold and vivid, if just more of Gibson's obsession with naked men being tortured. 4 stars
1/09/07 daveyt A touch predictable plot-wise with gratuitous gore decent movie none the less 4 stars
1/04/07 DINA unexpected plot, but worth of seeing... 4 stars
1/01/07 norman grant it's about the humility each civilization should have of itself. 4 stars
12/28/06 Agent Sands Though I don't stand for the animal violence, it's directed with intense realism. 3 stars
12/27/06 Jim Accomplishes the rare trick of making the Spanish conquistadors seem maybe not so bad. 4 stars
12/27/06 Mauro the best! 5 stars
12/27/06 Brian Great Movie, its harsh critics are exposed as narrowed by their bias. 5 stars
12/26/06 Man out 6 bucks Eye candy, pointless story. A Mexican 1st Blood Pt. 1. Jaguar Paw is Mayan illiterate. 3 stars
12/26/06 John M. Best movie I saw so far this year (which is over now). Go see it!! 5 stars
12/22/06 Joe Historically flawed, but a superb action film and bold cinematic experiment. 5 stars
12/19/06 Sam as much as I didn't want to like this movie it won me over 4 stars
12/18/06 Criddic2 Nicely photographed, exciting and entertaining. 4 stars
12/18/06 Barry I gave it a C minus until the Christians came to save the day. Final grade: D+ 1 stars
12/17/06 Dave Good film, great action, good acting. Gibson does it again! 5 stars
12/16/06 Sylvia True story. Loved it! 5 stars
12/16/06 Quigley Not as gory as people say, but still pretty gruesome. Mel's direction is good. Wait for DVD 3 stars
12/16/06 Brian Mckay Last of the Mohicans - without Whitey. Watchable, but not much of a story. 3 stars
12/15/06 Ole Man Bourbon Bad film, ridiculously great movie. Lots to digest from this product of Mad Mel 5 stars
12/15/06 Roger Ebert If you guys keep reading shit like this, you will smell of shit..Mel Gibson sucks 5 stars
12/15/06 shaun lawton Narrowminded, simplistic, thoroughly UNoriginal, give it up Mel 2 stars
12/15/06 christina whatever,he displayed the mayans pretty accurately,and they were violent.still some errors. 5 stars
12/15/06 orpy mixture of Predator & Last of the Mohicans! Laughable! 2 stars
12/14/06 Dave C Good Movie - more gore in the first five min of Private Ryan than in the whole movie. 5 stars
12/14/06 La Mancha Those who don't like it are hystrical wusses. Loved it! 5 stars
12/14/06 Jeremy best movie of 2006 5 stars
12/13/06 excitement lover mel gibsond rules!!!!! apocalypto the way to go!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/13/06 jdean62 Not a Gibson fan !! However I was surprised i loved the movie... 4 stars
12/12/06 Ray Lanthier pathology + lotsamoney + racism+ historical inaccuracies = Apocalypto 1 stars
12/12/06 john D dumb movie but pretty. Would bo ignored if it wasn't for Gibson 1 stars
12/12/06 Tiffany awesome movie!! 5 stars
12/12/06 Timothy Wilken Important Film for all adults. Much to think about. Masterpiece!!! 5 stars
12/11/06 Luisa great movie, great actors...unforgettable 5 stars
12/11/06 margo this movie kicks ass 5 stars
12/11/06 Chuck Banner More like ridiculoso. Another history from Mel based on heresay. 1 stars
12/11/06 John Eaglehawk great film.. Gibson puts it all on the line. tells it like it was.. 5 stars
12/11/06 steph Best movie i seen in jaguarpaw 5 stars
12/11/06 lee Better than most action flicks out today!!!!!!! 5 stars
12/11/06 Nighy Another cinematic masterbation by Mel Gibson- pathetic. 1 stars
12/11/06 Kimberly Lynn Cole FANTASTIC film, visually purely stunning 5 stars
12/11/06 scotty great movie. is not as gory as a lot of reviewers have made it out to be 5 stars
12/11/06 Rob Adcox Outstanding film -and #1 at the box office! 5 stars
12/11/06 ahnold Engaging good vs evil story. Almost 2 much gore/sadism. Worth 1 look. 4 stars
12/10/06 Carl Chappell It's very fast. But I thought they ate the corpses? 4 stars
12/10/06 Craig Best movie of the year. "Anti-immigration" propaganda my ass. 5 stars
12/10/06 scott the best and worst of humanity captured in an amazing film. 5 stars
12/10/06 adam g b kyklux tempus, a hollow experiance! faith , no? 4 stars
12/10/06 ed christensen surprisingly excellent. oscar worthy, but given gibson's recent indiscretion, no chance. 5 stars
12/09/06 action movie fan spectacular, stunning brethtaking the naked prey the fugirive--a modern action film set in 5 stars
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  08-Dec-2006 (R)
  DVD: 22-May-2007



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