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Apocalypto

Director:  Mel Gibson
Year Released:  2006
Rating:  3.0

A pure action movie (like Cornel Wilde's The Naked Prey), told with a minimal amount of dialogue (in Mayan) and with a basic message about family values and protecting the ones you love. An idyllic village is ravaged by religious fanatics who need sacrifices for their god(s), but one of the captured - a young hunter named Jaguar Paw - manages to sneak away. There isn't much depth there in terms of character development - it's basically a fable - but Gibson's actually a decent director, and his action scenes really snap. The amount of gore equals that of The Passion of the Christ, although unlike that picture this can almost be read as story that says you need to be wary of organized religion (as it leads to superstitious beliefs). What brought about this turnabout is unclear - is it a coded apology for The Passion of the Christ? Is the therapy working? Or is the bi-polar message of both movies a reflection of Mel's recent emotional swings?

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