Saturday, December 09, 2006

Movie Review: Apocalypto

I wanted to headline this "I ♥ Kulkulcan", but then no one would read it because they'd think I was just in the drambuie again. Reading other reviews, I almost didn't see this movie as I was expecting a bloodbath full of long, excruciating deaths (one reviewer dubbed this a "snuff epic"). And while there were plenty of blood, deaths, and a few wince-worthy moments, it was not the tale of carnage I was led to expect.

Which is good, because heart-ripping human sacrifice and jaguar mauling aside, there is an excellent movie. Forget the Mel Gibson hype and the Passion comparisons, this movie has more in common with The New World. It is a gorgeous movie, where the actors face a huge challenge in conveying the story in a subtitled "native" language. And the actors do a great job of this.

Fans of (quasi) historical movies will enjoy this (conjectured) look at the Mayan culture in decline. This isn't just a Hollywood backlot with some pretty actors in buckskins and body paint. If nothing else, Apocalypto will get the Oscar in costuming, art direction and cinematography.

Grathed, there are a few liberties... the Mayan population centers were abandoned in 900 AD, and an eclipse happens extremely fast (though to be honest, I can forgive this as I wouldn't want to sit through the amount of time the eclipse *should* take).

This movie isn't for everyone. It's not for the squeamish. It's not for people that hate movies with subtitles. But if you enjoy a beautiful movie with a good story, go past the hype and watch it.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 human-sacrificing turquoise-grill-wearing flying-monkies


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