Apocalypto – 5 out of 5
For one reason or another, Apocalypto sat on my backburner of movies that I was really in no rush to see. I’m not even entirely sure why because I can’t think of a single legitimate reason why I didn’t care to sit down with this one. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to show any support for the drunk, anti-Semite that is Mel Gibson or maybe, at the time when it came out, I had a vendetta against films with subtitles because a movie with subtitles killed my karate master in the back alleys of a seedy neighbor. Whatever the reason, I didn’t see this one until the year of our lord (Xenu) 2014 and, I have to say, I regret waiting because despite how crazy he is, Mel Gibson crafted a tremendous film.
|I'm just going to assume that Mel had this already constructed in his backyard.|
Set during the slowly dwindling years of the Mayan people, Apocalypto tells the tale of the dying people. Crops aren’t growing, sickness is spreading and people keep stubbing their toes on literally everything. The Mayans aren’t happy (so they predicted the end of the world in 2012 to get back at everyone). The priests and rulers decide that they need to make the gods happy again so they can flourish and the Mayans did that by building temples and sacrificing the hell out of some fellow humans. Small villages get raided to get the bodies needed; one of which belongs to Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood—who not only starred in this film but has an awesome name). Jaguar Paw is pulled away from his family, watches his village destroyed and is taken to be offered up to the gods. However, when it seems the lords have had their fill of blood sacrifices, the captives are allowed to go free…as long as they survive the obstacles set before them. Jaguar Paw, driven by getting back to his trapped son and expecting wife, kills the son of his captor; Zero Wolf (Roaul Trujillo), and tries running to freedom. However, Zero Wolf and his crew aren’t going to let him go so easily and now Jaguar Paw is not only running to save his family but running for sheer survival.
|That's the same face I had watching this awesome spectacle.|
|The badassery of this scene would be greatly reduced if they all started humming|
|The gorgeous landscapes act as an antithesis to the brutal|
violence this film contains.
|Meanwhile, at the top, Tommy Lee Jones is yelling to Jaguar Paw about how he doesn't|
care that he didn't kill his wife.
|The Mayan version of Blue Steel.|
|Not only does Youngblood have the name of a pro-wrestler but he's got the game face, too!|
|Zero Wolf was metal before metal even existed!|
|Seriously, this dude is metal as all fuck!|
And since you can’t have a great villain without a great evil sidekick, that’s where Middle Eye and Gerardo Teracena come in. Middle Eye is your typical, sadistic underling that wants to lead but lacks the focus and discipline to be a leader, so he must constantly be put in his place. Teracena’s performance is fantastic as he is just unhinged enough to be the loose cannon threat to our hero but believable enough where he doesn’t become a cartoon character. Finally, the interaction between Teracena and Trujillo as they have a slight back-and-forth fight for power over the group just added another element to their characters and kept them from becoming one-dimensional and trivial.
|There was a time when plugs were associated with badasses and not douche bags.|
|"Are you ready to rock?"|
|And then the Mayans lived happily ever after!|