The Bottom Line
- Mel Gibson has created a visually compelling movie world unlike any seen before
- Locations, sets, faces, costumes and makeup are stunning
- Film is often exciting and mostly entertaining
- Movie is too brutally violent for many viewers
- According to some experts, world depicted in film is historically inaccurate and/or misleading
- Some people perceive the movie as being racist
- DVD containing subtitled action-adventure movie Apocalypto (2006)
- Film directed and co-written by Mel Gibson
- Movie dialogue in Mayan, DVD supplies subtitles in English, Spanish, French
- DVD contains 25-minute making-of documentary
- DVD provides audio commentary by Mel Gibson and co-writer/co-producer Farhad Safinia
- DVD contains one 38-second deleted scene showing a trained deer acting like it is injured
- MPAA rating: R for sequences of graphic violence and disturbing images
- Feature film run time: 2 hours 18 minutes
- DVD release date: May 22, 2007
Guide Review - Apocalypto DVD Review
Mel Gibson directed and co-wrote Apocalypto, a visually stunning film about Mayans just before they first encountered the Spanish. All the speaking roles are played by Native Americans, and the dialogue is entirely in Mayan. The DVD provides subtitles in English, Spanish and French. The movie is an action-adventure entertainment and is not necessarily a good place to learn history, anthropology or archeology.
Apocalypto contains stunning imagery. For example, there's a hellish lime quarry where the workers' bodies become coated in white. There's also a large city where human sacrifices are carried out atop a tall pyramid. The victims are covered with blue pigment, their hearts are cut from their chests and their severed heads are rolled down the pyramid steps. By way of contrast, there's a primitive village in a verdant rain forest.
The main character is Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood), who tries to protect his pregnant wife and their little boy. But this turns out to be difficult in a society that needs slaves, sacrificial victims and human targets to use for weapons practice. The movie features some exciting action, although there's a long chase sequence that will tax the patience of some viewers.
The DVD contains an excellent 25-minute making-of documentary that covers what most viewers will want to know about locations, sets, costumes, makeup and weapons. Also there's an informative commentary by Mel Gibson and co-writer/co-producer Farhad Safinia. They give interesting details about the actors, the camerawork, and how some sequences were done, including the one where Jaguar Paw jumps from the top of a spectacular 175-foot waterfall. Gibson states that near the end of the film he is depicting a specific historical event that occurred in 1502.