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Alex Tang


Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto is an intense period piece about the last days of the Mayan civilization. It is a simple story. A Central American Indian named Jaguar Paw and his whole tribe was captured by Mayan slavers. Jaguar Paw managed to hide his wife and young son just before the attack. The male of his tribe were taken to the Mayan temple to be the ritual human sacrifice.

Jaguar Paw escaped and made his way back home pursued by the slavers. He managed to kill most of them.

While the storyline line is simple, the actions were intense, and we are exposed to the brutality of the slavers who seize innocent villagers, the decadent Mayan society, and the cultic ritual of a religion that demands hundreds of human sacrifices.

Gibson tried to recreate the Mayan civilization in this movie. In fact too much effort were put to recreate the Mayan civilization that it came across as a National Geographic documentary on steroids.

However, his story telling is very visual. The natives spoke in their own language so we follow the dialogue by subtitles.

One of the mysteries of the Mayan is why a civilization that flourished around A.D. 250-900 collapsed suddenly and then vanished without a trace. Theories are rampant with diseases, famine, overpopulation, wars, and aliens. Yet, to date, no one can come out with an acceptable cause. Mel Gibson, in the movie, tried to reveal why the Mayan civilization collapse-smallpox, famine, crop failure. By the time the Spanish Conquistadors conquered the Mayan in early 16th century, the civilization was reduced to isolated village which practice the human sacrifice rituals.

Not a great movie for children.


Some information about the Mayan Mayan Civilization


Other reviews of the movie: Rotten Tomatoes  



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