Mel Gibson has perhaps rightly acquired a reputation as something of a crazy person, but if he’s a bit mad, it’s perhaps justifiable to call him a mad “genius.” For the fact is, Apocalypto is an astonishing film. No time for a particulary long review at the moment, but I will say that if, like me, one of the best parts of watching movies is that you get to be transported to another world, you’ll simply love this film. Gibson has meticulously recreated an exotic, now-lost to history otherworld: that of the early 15th century Mayan civilization. And he’s done so with an incredible degree of verisimilitude. The film is utterly harrowing to watch at times, and yet I found I couldn’t move my eyes from the screen. The last half hour or so of Apocalypto is a tad more predicable and formulaic than the first hundred or so minutes (it almost reminds one of something out of the Rambo series), but the overall effort from Mr. Gibson is so well done, so riveting, so suspensful, and so, well, elegant, you’ll barely notice this shortcoming.
Apocalypto is not for the faint-of-heart, nor is it suitable for children (due to scenes of extreme — albeit non-gratuitous — violence). All in all, a very entertaining work. Very dark at times, but not wholly bleak in its vision. It even manages to impart a relevant message — an apocalypic warning, if you will — to our modern age.