So everyones likely heard of Mel Gibson making a public @$$ of himself. Some have gone so far as to boycott his movies because of it. I tell you now, anyone who misses Apocalypto is going to miss something crucial in movie history.
It is above and beyond the absolute best movie I have seen all year if not ever. It's huge, but centered around one man; epic, but grabs you on a personal level. The intensity of it is just so well paced that the +2 hours flies by.
I have heard people talking in disgusted tones saying "It's so gory" and you know what? it is. But like the rest of the movie, it's done so well that it adds to the story rather than detract. It isn't like the violence in Kill Bill or the fights in most modern movies. Sure there are still beating hearts being pulled out of chests, throats being slit, and heads being bashed, but it's all so realistic looking that rather than glorifying violence, it's honoring realism. Sort of like when Saving Private Ryan came out and everyone was in shock at the level of violence "There are entrails on the beach!" but when you watch it, that isn't what you notice. You watch the struggle that the amazingly real characters face.
The major thing I appreciated about this movie is that the main character, Jaguar Paw is nothing special. He isn't the best hunter in his village, or the best fighter who all others bow to. He's just another guy who musters the will to survive and get back to his family. So there are no elaborate kicking or punching or dueling style fight scenes. They are exactly how two brawlers would go about it. They are quick, violent, and center around killing the other guy as fast as possible rather than dancing with him.
Rather the intensity of the movie comes from the fact that once JP escapes his captors, it is an hour long foot chase through the jungle. Vastly outnumbered, running wounded from overwhelmingly relentless pursuit, Jaguar Paw has to avoid Jaguars, snakes, hornets, pitfalls and a thousand other things while trying (sometimes in vain) to outmaneuver his chasers. And as if that wasn't enough, he is racing time and the weather to get back to his pregnant wife and and 4 year old son who he hid in a dry well whilst fighting off his captors originally.
No matter what happens though, what makes this movie so engrossing is that you believe what is going on. There is no suspension of disbelief...you are just there in the jungle with him, like it or not.
The brilliance of Apocalypto comes from it's simplicity. There is no fantastical events or circumstances that make a man find some hidden talent inside to save the world. It's just one man trying desperately to get back to his family.
So, Mel Gibson may be a moron as a person, but d@mn if he doesn't make incredible movies.
See this movie. It's gonna go down in history.
And Shepherds we shall be
For thee, my Lord, for thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand
Our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee
And teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti.
OMG Jedi Knight 4!!!