ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – A – Apocalypto (2006)

Director: Mel Gibson

Writer: Mel Gibson, Farhad Safinia (Screenplay)

Starring: Rudy Youngblood, Dalia Hernandez, Jonathan Brewer, Morris Birdyellowhead

 

Plot: As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutal Adventure Film

 

Story: Apocalypto starts as we meet a peaceful Mayan tribe living in the jungle, using it to survive the hardship as a unit, we have our hero of this story here Jaguar Paw (Youngblood) with a family, wife Seven (Hernandez) and a young child.

When morning comes Zero Wolf (Trujillo) sends his tribe into to attack and capture Jaguar Paw’s tribe, killing many and leaving the children to fend for themselves, but Jaguar Paw does get Seven out before she can be captured. The women are sold into slavery but the men they have been selected for ritual sacrifice to the Gods to solve the famine running through the city.

When it comes to Jaguar Paws sacrifice an eclipse happens and the people believe no more are needed force the captures to use them as target practise game, this gives Jaguar a chance to escape into the jungle and return to his wife.

 

Thoughts on Apocalypto

 

Characters – Jaguar Paw is our leading man, he is just a hunter for his tribe, but one with the forest, when his tribe comes under attack, saving his wife and child is the most important for him before he gets captured. He shows he will be the hardest to deal with and given a chance to escape he takes it using his knowledge of his forest to defeat his enemies. Seven is the wife that spends most of the film in the cave waiting for her husband to return. Zero Wolf is the leader of the hunters that take Jaguar Paw’s tribe captive for his own gain hoping to use them to sacrifice to the Gods, he does command the best from his men.

PerformanceNone of these actors were that well known before this film and that is an excellent thing because the performance do feel natural through each of the moments in the film, the situations show the horror, the pure desperation and harsh reality of the world they are living in.

StoryThe story shows the Mayan culture, the calm life they did live mixed with the heavy beliefs they once had which was considered one of their downfalls. We mostly just follow one man Jaguar Paw as he is taken into slavery but escapes to return to his wife before he becomes a sacrifice, it is a brutal adventure showing how barbaric the Mayan’s were when it came to sacrifice but it is also an intense experience seeing the struggle to survive.

Action/AdventureThe action is mostly surrounding the final third which follows the chase back to Jaguar Paw’s forest and how he must defeat the enemies chasing him using his knowledge, which does end up feeling like an adventure at times too.

SettingsThe setting all look fantastic, mostly jungle sequences with one temple based town which does have elements of CGI about it but does still look good through the film.

Special EffectsWhen you look at the effects we have good use of practical ones as we see the brutal kills throughout the film

Scene of the Movie – Waterfall.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is one film that does suffer with the subtitles, which in all honesty weren’t needed to tell the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brutal bloody action adventure with the ones desire for our character to get home, back to safety with his family.

 

Overall: An intense experience worth watching.

Rating

 

 

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