Apocalypto (Mel Gibson 2006)

MV5BNTM1NjYyNTY5OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMjgwNTMzMQ@@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_and so anyway it turns out the best thing about Apocalypto (2006) is not the sensitive, respectful and not-at-all-made-up way Mel Gibson, the mullet-toting Donald Trump of 80s action cinema,[1] depicts an ancient indigenous civilisation, nor is it his bizarre failure to cast white actors in the lead roles (perhaps Tom Cruise, given how much running there is – although surprisingly there is a Stephen Yardley lookalike among Jaguar Paw’s Mayan pursuers), nor is it the way in which catholic cultist Mel Gibson depicts indigenous people as being so obsessed with having nine or ten kids each that they might just as well be catholics, nor is it the way he depicts them as already having violence, disease and slavery so that they might just as well have Europeans around to run all that shit for them, nor is it the way he crams in pretty much every cliché of colonial adventure fiction you can imagine (human sacrifice, escape from sacrifice courtesy of a well-timed solar eclipse, jumping off a waterfall, running into quicksand, pan pipes over slow-motion action, and so on and so on, though sadly there are no rivers full of ‘devil fish’ and no one gets their foot trapped in a giant clam as the tide rises or walks backwards into a giant spider’s web – or escapes from an erupting volcano in a balloon), nor is it the way the to-be-sacrificed captives get painted blue, thus inspiring James Cameron’s Avatar (2009), no, the best thing about Apocalypto is that this DVD jacket is so badly printed that on the back the film seems to be described as a ‘THRILLING FUCK’…

[1] Steven Seagal, of course, is the lardy, pony-tail toting Donald Trump of 90s action cinema.

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