First, apologies if there is already a thread - I looked, but the threads seemed to be of the “anticipation” variety. This is one for those who have seen the movie.
Saw Mad Mel’s “Apocalypto” the other night. I wanted to like the movie, because it looked great, but in plot it was a big disappointment.
Below are lots and lots of spoilers …
First, it looks and sounds great. Kudos to the casting, the costume designers, the set decorators etc.
Second, I kind of liked how they portrayed the theoretical causes of the downfall of the Maya (disease, deforestation, agricultural failure, tree-burning to make lime, warfare).
Third, the plot is basic enough - happy village attacked by nasties from post-classic Mayan city in decay, for slavery and sacrifice; stalwart hero must escape and win back to his wife and children. Barring the somewhat-anachronism of having a classic-appearing city inhabited at the time of contact with the Spanish, I can live with this (heck, it may even be historical - I thought the classic cities were all abandoned and those post-classic cities still inhabited were somewhat different, but I could be wrong).
But the absurd cliffhangers, coincidences and impossibilities make it difficult to suspend disbelief (our hero is rescued by the appearance of Spanish ships at the very moment when he’s about to be killed;he returns to save his wife and kiddies in the nick of time from drowning, etc.); this difficulty is increased by the apparent superhuman endurance of our hero - he’s shot through the side with a javalin, but still manages to (a) outrun a jaguar; (b) run all the way back to his ex-village while being chased by a whole posse of unwounded baddies; he survives being further shot with an arrow with seemingly few ill effects.
Even so, I could live with that. But what I found really made it difficult to suspend disbelief was the notion that a wide-ranging group of hunter-gatherers who allegedly know every inch of their jungly domain could be completely unaware, not even having heard rumours before, of the existance of a “classic” Maya city of (apparently) several thousand inhabitants within the distance that a wounded man could run without food or sleep.