Starring: Gerardo Taracena, Raoul Trujillo, Dalia Hernández
Director: Mel Gibson
Running Time: 139 mins
Apocalypto is an American film about a young hunter in the Mayan kingdom, taken for human sacrifice by a foreign enemy, who flees in a time of desperation as he aims to save his family and escape his barbaric enemies.
This film, while impressively unique, was not as intelligent and exciting as I had expected. It attempts to be a cross between a modern, blockbuster action film, while also something with more brains and historical intrigue to avoid being labelled as a big-budget blockbuster.
Bear one thing in mind, this entire film is spoken in the ancient Mayan language (so make sure you’ve got some subtitles ready). However, that is quite an interesting and original idea, as it does make the setting of the film in the ancient Mayan kingdom a lot more convincing and engrossing, which does increase your intrigue in the story a lot more.
As well as having some historically interesting elements, this film is very action-packed, and quite gruesome. It’s almost Tarantino-style gory, with many scenes of bloody sacrifice, a showing of a live childbirth (very disturbing), and some extremely gruesome battle scenes, right up close to the injured people.
However, those are really the only good points about this film. The rest of it is largely repetitive, uninteresting and annoying to watch, while I do have some concerns about the portrayal of the ancient cultures.
Basically, while it also shows the indigenous people in a more immersive way, it seems to over-simplify the nature of the way the people live, and show it in what feels like an almost comical way, in order to spur some entertainment in the viewer, which I don’t feel is so respectful.
In terms of the rest of the film, it tries to be a fast-paced thriller, however without any particularly interesting characters, which means you never get a strong emotional connection to the film, so it’s just not as heart-pounding as it should be.
The final period of this film is a fast-paced foot chase, and while that is a different idea to most thrillers, it becomes an incredibly repetitive sequence that you do lose interest in quickly, and that pretty much sums up the majority of this film, so that’s why it gets a 6.8.