2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Savagery abound in oddly entertaining ACTION film.,
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This review is from: Apocalypto [DVD] (2006) (DVD)
I'll start right off and say I practically loved this film, but let me state that I loved it for none of the reasons I was expecting I would, prior to the viewing. Upon loading the disc I was prepared for over two hours of deep cranial work taking in the destruction of the Mayan civilisation, perhaps an insightful look at this particular race of people and how they lived? What I got was actually one of the best action movies of the 00s!
Looking at the ream of reviews here and viewing all the threads across this particular site it is evident that I was not on my own in being torpedoed as to how the film panned out, was it Mel Gibson's intention from the off to do a straight action piece in subtitles ?, perhaps he started off to do a deep thinker but quickly realised that he could make a top dollar actioner instead? Either way this film delivers royally to those who get much from the action genre itself, and thankfully I count myself amongst that number.
Mel Gibson ups the violence quotient here, perhaps not quite for violence sake, but very nearly because it's part of a story that uses every cliché in the action film book, in essence the film is a simple chase/revenge plot piece, only here the added gimmick of a civilisation long past puts a bit more weight on the freshly stripped of skin bones. What lifts this film above your standard genre pieces tho is the great work Gibson does with his camera, he knows his money shots, he can frame a breathtaking scene very well indeed, and he manages to get tremendous performances from a largely unknown (and some never worked before) cast.
It's a pulse pounding thrilling movie with splendid dashes of humour, whilst it's also a gore hounds dream, and sure enough there are metaphors there if you are so inclined to look for them, and if you like playing spot the homage (or lift?), then fill your boots because they are all in here too. Ultimately if you are looking for a deep historical epic then you need to look elsewhere, but if you want a bold as brass action piece then get in the queue and enjoy the ride. 9/10