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Movie Reviews

DVD Review: “Apocalypto”

(Touchstone Home Entertainment. 2007. Color. 1 disc. Widescreen. Rated R. Directed by Mel Gibson.) Rudy Youngblood, Dalia Hernandez, Jonathan Brewer. Music by James Horner.


Since this is a Mel Gibson film, I must first ask that you stow away any loose sentiments or aversions you might harbor towards Mr. Gibson. We’re here to talk about the film, not him. And I know some of you just want to know how gory it is, and I can assure you that yes, it’s very gory. It’s also fairly inconsistent and a bit long. Anyhow, Apocalypto tells the story of Jaguar Paw, a man from a small tribe in Mexico whose village is attacked by the Mayans and the captives are sacrificed to the gods. Jaguar Paw manages to escape and runs back to his village in an effort to save his wife and child, but not before offing a few of his captors in the process, Rambo-style. The make-up, set designs and locations are awe-inspiring, as they had found some beautiful vistas on which to shoot. The tribesmen are likable enough (if a bit juvenile), but the portrayal of the Mayans is pretty skewed (they did more than show off their best Mola Ram impressions, right?). The brutality in some parts is pretty over-the-top, and some of the animatronics they used, the jaguar in particular, were noticeably bad. But while the first half is pretty uneven, the second half finds Gibson firmly at home in a long and dramatic chase sequence. It’s very taut and thrilling, especially when Jaguar Paw decides to fight back using the forest’s flora and fauna. Overall, a visually stunning movie that is otherwise inconsistent. The disc includes an uninteresting deleted scene (yes, just one), a making-of featurette, and a commentary track by Gibson and his co-writer Farhad Sarfinia, which reminds us that when he’s not spouting drunken nonsense, Gibson can be pretty entertaining to listen to.

Jared Counts

Jared Counts he/him

Digital Technology Manager

A UH alum, Jared Counts was hired part-time at KUHF Radio in early 2003, bouncing between departments until being hired full-time as a web developer in February 2007. He currently manages the front- and back-end of this website (including the WordPress plugin that runs this staff directory), as well as...

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