28 December 2006

Apocalypto

Well, I was expecting a life-changing film. A movie-going experience that I would remember for years to come. In my years of movie going, I have seen many movies that I know my kids will someday say, “Dad, you are old if you say that in theaters!” On a quick side note, I have no kids at this time. I really thought after all the buzz around this film, and all the publicity on it, that it was going to be the next movie to reach this high echelon. To make it short and sweet, it was not of this caliber. It was, however, still a good film. After the whole Mel Gibson incident, I laughed that they pushed the movie back for the Oscars. This is exactly why studios should not play that game. Apocalyto opened with a hunt of a wild boar. The hunters are successful in their hunt. While they are dividing the boar meat up, a creepy group of other Mayans walks by. They are bloody and tattered from what they say was a massacre at their village. This gets the main character Jaguar Paw scared. Keep in mind that the entire movie was spoken in the ancient lost Mayan language by a whole group of no-name actors. Back to the hunters. They go back to their village, and it is massacred the next morning. We got to see that Jaguar Paw has a little boy and a wife with child. He quickly hides them in a deep hole in the ground to save them before he himself is captured. Here, he makes enemies with one of the captors.

That ended of the first act of the film. The second act covered the traveling of the prisoners with their captors to their great city. They had a few adventures along the way. A small girl dying of some disease tells the captors that they are doomed to die. It was foreshadowing for the last part of the film. Once in the city, they are painted and made ready for a ritual sacrificing for the gods. As Jaguar Paw is getting ready to have his heart cut out and head chopped off, and eclipse happens, and the captors decide that the gods are happy. They then “release” the remaining prisoners.

Now that act two is done, we get to the final act, the chase. Here, Jaguar Paw runs back to his razed village to try and save his wife and child that are in the hole. Some of the captors are chasing him due to a folly on his part. This is where I started to get mad at the film. He is running, presumably in a straight line. Yet, despite many breaks by his pursuers, they always manage to be right on his heels. My only thought here is that he is running the old NES Tecmo Super Bowl method of zig-zag to keep them close but not let them catch him. Jaguar Paw begins to hunt his pursuers along the way as they are hunting him. So, each time one is picked off, they have to stop look, and discuss it. Meanwhile, he is running. Somehow, after they leave the body behind, they are right on his heels again. I am not going to give away the entire ending. It starts to rain which fills up the hole his family is in. The final bad guys are on this tail, and something odd occurs.

Verdict: I enjoyed this film a great deal. I will not be buying it on DVD. This is not a movie that I would watch again and again. I do not think that you need to go see this in theaters. I, personally, did not think that the violence was too graphic, but what do I know about that. Its worth the watch, but you can rent it and save the money.

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