Movie Review

By: Nancy Keefe Rhodes

Posted 12/13/2006 - 05:00:55 PM by aroddick:
 I'm a little shocked you gave such a high grade on this. Although full of beautiful shots, it still was a sick, cliched movie. When I saw the screening the ending, which is not only historically inaccurate but just a plain stupid use of deus ex machina, it evoked the film to be booed. Gibson actually gets very little right here -- his use of tatoos and piercing is a simple reproduction of National Geographic images of elite tombs, not regular people. His representation of the temple/sacrifice scene was so horrific (and irritating in that the duped masses just cheer and dance in some sort of Matrix rave scene) that a couple sitting next to me uttered "these people were savages". Any type of movie of this scale employing indigenous peoples will influence modern struggles. This movie was not just bad, it is irresponsible. Not that I'm really surprised with Gibson...more with this review. D-
Posted 12/15/2006 - 10:54:33 AM by jhitting:
 As an action movie and a horror flick this film exceeded my expectations, which were already high. As a historical film, aroddick was dead-on. First of all, I'm not a scholar on the Maya, but from what little I do know about them, the collapse that Gibson focuses on occurred around 900 AD, not in the 1500's. Amazingly, numerous articles state that Apocalypto takes place anywhere from 3000 BCE to 1500 AD, so I guess I'm not the only one confused. According to Wikipedia, though, it isn't the dates so much as the accuracy of the depiction that are controversial. Gibson borrows a lot of other cultural elements to bring the Maya to life, and liberally uses a cut and paste mentality when reaching for greater detail. I didn't notice that, but I can see how that would be annoying for scholars. Kind of like putting a Muslim in The Passion.
Posted 12/15/2006 - 04:42:31 PM by aroddick:
 Yep, you're right about the multiple cultural references -- African triabalism makes an appearance, as does the Yanomano of Brazil. The Aztecs are perhaps the most overtly referenced. In terms of the dates, I have now decided that Mel is all about travelling the space:time continuum to make it work. Did you notice that the running happened to go from the mountains to the jungle to the sea? Nitpicking perhaps, especially considering the bigger concerns I have with this one.
Posted 12/18/2006 - 06:07:04 PM by cingulomaniac:
 I don't see why a movie has to be historically accurate when it wasn't pushed as such. It's an action film.