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Friday, May 25, 2007

Watching Apocalypto

I finally watched Mel Gibson's Apocalypto last night. I'd easily give it 5 stars out of 5. It's an excellent film, though not for the squeamish.

The reviews had made such a big deal out of the violence and gore that I was reticent to see it. But I'm convinced that the movie reviewers who criticized it for that reason either don't see very many movies or still want to grind an ax against Gibson for his Jesus movie. It's not that intense, not compared to others that get critical raves.

Actually, the violence it contains seemed anything but exploitive. I'd say it was necessary to the narrative.

Apocalypto is simply the work of a cinematic genius. The story is powerful, the characters intriguing, and the action is non-stop. Very exciting. Also very beautiful. Gibson captures the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of humanity at a basic level.

If you want to learn something, if you want to feel excitement, if you want to dip your toe into an alien world while sitting safely in your pajamas, rent Apocalypto tonight.

The critics were mixed in their evaluations. Many of them overflowed with praise. Others claimed to be repulsed. I think this reviewer is correct in saying that if any other director had made this movie, the others would be tripping over themselves to honor it. But because Mel Gibson made a powerful film about Jesus (the most offensive man who ever lived), they can't tolerate anything he does.

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1 comment:

Jane said...

Thanks for this review, Scott. I wanted to see this movie, but then didn't because of the warnings about the violence. I think we'll have to put it on the Netflix line-up.

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