Apocalypto (2006)

I’m not a big fan of Mel Gibson the director, and half an hour into Apocalypto I was shaking my head and looking for the remote control.

The movie looks good but gets initially bogged down in a load of slapstick and bodily function jokes, like a sort of Carry On Up the Jungle. Eventually the plot starts, and there’s a lot of expensive CGI, shouting, and some nasty human sacrifice, before our hero ends up in a fight to the death with the enemy soldiers.

While there’s no denying the excitement of the action scenes (and Gibson has the sense to focus on these), the movie dies on its feet when anything resembling dialogue turns up, and all the characters end up as cardboard cutouts despite the best efforts of the unknown cast. It’s not quite as simple-minded as Braveheart, and the ending is strangely graceful, so we’ll give  Mel another chance, although I can’t help thinking he should be a second-unit director.

Mild Peril Rating: ★★½☆☆

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