Tuesday, 16 February 2010


Some films take you completely by surprise. Although I have always enjoyed Mel Gibson as an actor I took serious issue with his controversial PASSION OF THE CHRIST and just sort of turned my back on APOCALYPTO and would probably never had seen it if it hadn't been shown by the BBC. It is a terrific piece of film-making despite some short comings in the script department - it's a long time since I've seen so many unlikely coincidences introduces to carry a plot along. The story is slight, consisting of, basically, two journeys - too and from a Mayan city that is in the throes of a frenzy of human sacrifice. The second half of the film is one long and exciting chase through the jungle while the first have absolutely wallows in Gibson's seeming obsession with brutalizing young naked men. Technically the film can't really be faulted - it looks superb. Acting is top-notch and even Gibson's decision to have the actors speak in what I take is the Yucatan language, which while probably not helping the film's box-office chances, give the production a seeming air of authenticity. Although the film does contain some humour in the opening sequences of hunting and village life the best laugh is provided towards the end of the film by a single economic subtitle. The vengeful Mayan warrior looks at one of his men who has just been bitten by a snake and simply says "He's fucked". Impressive. Rating ****

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