Apocalypto– Waiting a few weeks for the movie hype to die down some, I went to the theatres to see Apocalypto, and I must say I was a bit surprised. For those who are not familiar with Mel Gibson’s new movie, Apocalypto is framed around a small Mayan tribe during the 1500s. This tribe lives in the forest and is pretty much sheltered from other tribes or the large Mayan cities. Due to hard times in the nearby city, raiding parties are sent out to capture men and women from these small tribes and bring them in to be sold as slaves or offered as sacrifices. The tribe in this movie has been attacked, and the lead character is trying to escape from his captors to return back to his village to save his wife.
I made some observations while watching the movie. Gibson mixes film-rates between your traditional movie film and broadcast television, making certain scenes in the film more life-like. Many of these film-rate changes occurred during the chase scenes, resulting in film movies appearing more reactionary and slightly blurred. Another thing was the background history (or the lack there of) about the Mayan culture and the events during the period the film is set. With the film being centered around a secluded tribe, the time spent within the Mayan city is limited, and therefore the time for exploring history and culture of the civilization also limited. This is probably the weakest point of the movie itself.
Overall, it is a good movie and I recommend it to people who are interested in a change from the ordinary. It is subtitled, so reading is required. However, unlike the Passion of the Christ, the dialogue is shorter and more humorous, so you are able to keep up with the story while enjoying the scenery and action. I give the movie a B, due more for the lack of background history than anything else.