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  2006 wasn’t a particulary good year for Mel Gibson with his little outburst following his arrest for drink driving, but it looks like 2007 has started pretty well. His fourth directorial effort, Apocalytpo, tells the story of the ancient Mayan civilisation and particularly one man, Jaguar Paw who is trying to save his family.

  The film starts by introducing us to the village of mayans going about their daily lives, including practical jokes on man mountain ,Blunted, who is getting it in the neck from his mother in law as he hasn’t got his wife pregnant. Yes this film even has mother-in-law jokes. When outsiders from the main city come and rape and pillage the village, Jaguar Paw along with his friends are taken away to be given as sacrifices to the sun god. This is where the film becomes a chase movie as Paw escapes and is hunted down by the soldiers. It’s a strange film as firstly the film is in an ancient Mayan language, and for the first half is a great drama, which is graphically violent but beautifully shot. Once the chase begins it becomes an action film, with echoes of First Blood, The Fugitive and even Predator. The chase is very intense and never seems to slow down keeping you gripped, as Paw has to improvise to stay alive.  It’s a sign of how much you get engrossed in the story, that you don’t even notice the two hour plus running time. 

  Following on from Braveheart and Passion Of The Christ, Mel Gibson is really proving himself as director to watch, the visuals in this film are fantastic with some truly great camera shots, which just add to excitement of the chase.  One advantage to non stop action is that you don’t need to be reading subtitles to follow the story, and this is one problem the film will have selling itself, as a lot of people are put off by them. Unfortunately I can see some people boycotting the film because of Mr Gibsons run in with the law which is a shame because they will miss what is an astounding film.       Rating: 8/10

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