Apocalypto - A Movie Dialogue

I just finished Mel Gibson's Apocalypto.

The theme of this story was that a person should not have fear. Jaguar Paw struggled with surrendering to fear many times during his plight. This theme was powerful as it did motivate me not to succumb to fear if I ever was in a jungle village and faced an invading army. Seriously, I do think this film would come to mind to remind me of how I should not give into fear if a situation where that would be a problem did arise. I just pray that a situation like that would never arise. Not surrendering to fear is a great principle. One thing I have discovered in life is that fear usually creates that which the person feared. This is especially true in relationships.

The fear theme was surrounded by the opening quote and ending scenes in which Mel tried to develop a separate theme of civilizations destorying themselves from within. The opening quote - "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within" from Will Durant - was never really explained in the movie. What about the Mayans was destroying themselves from within? I could make guesses, but I do not really know what Mel Gibson was trying to say. Would a unified and righteous Mayan culture have been able to survive the far superior military technology of the invading Spaniards?

I really would have enjoyed more of a story centered around the Mayan city, although the constant falling of heads down the steps of the temple was a little too silly. The city scenes made me want to find a history book that explained the city layout and the lives of city residents at that time. I am always fascinated with how much ancient civilizations actually could do and how it always amazes how little we think of their civilization compared to how productive they actually were. I do wish that I could go to the Mayan ruins I once visited and imagine the scene of it packed full of people. When I was there, I imagined it much more sparsely populated.

I was impressed with Rudy Youngblood's performance as Jaguar Paw. He made what was a little too extreme of a movie enjoyable. The story of the movie was great, albeit a little too violent for my tastes, up to the point that Jaguar Paw escaped from the Mayan city. After that, it became way too cliche. The other disappointing overused storytelling devices were the disappearance of the the chasing soldiers in order for Jaguar Paw to have exciting showdowns and the delayed appearances of the chasing soldiers while Jaguar Paw was spending too much time wallowing in pain or being stuck in a mud pit.

A lot of the movie was sadly predictable. At one point, I told Lindsay that a guy jumping off the waterfall would smash his head on the rocks below. Two seconds later, he did. I then told Lindsay that it would start to rain, so that we would have the tense scene of the pregnant wife almost drowning. It did. The movie was so predictable after the escape from the Mayan city. If you could figure out the worst case scenario, then that is what would happen.

Entertaining: 3/5
Inspiring: 4/5
Ethical Thinking: 2/5

I will never watch this show again. The only reason it got a 2/5 on ethical thinking is because it made me wonder if being non-violent in all circumstances is a privilege we have because of the era we live in.