Apocalypto (2006)

How the world ends according to Mel Gibson. This film is a venture into pre-Columbian Mayan lands, something cinema has forgotten, until now.

Jaguars Paw is a hunter in a remote tribe. When his village is attacked and many of the people taken captive, it is revealed that some serious ills have afflicted the neighbouring lands: deforestation, mining, plagues, and slavery. Complete with human sacrifices and an extensive jungle chase, this film arouses both a primitive connection to the earth and a distaste for all things bloody.

The cinematography in this film is superb as are the costumes and sets; we really are transported to this era. What does lack a bit is more story. Jaguar's Paw seems to imitate Rambo First Blood in the last half of the film and aside from the journey to and from the sacrificial alters, there isn't a lot happening. The life and death intensity of the story doesn't really permit added story, but some added depth or revealed motives would have added a lot. Gibson does seem to try and simplify the story so we see it from one character's perspective and that is refreshing too.

Truth: Civilizations and empires end because of excess caused by greed.

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