December 07, 2006

Poor box office predicted

Apocalypto now:  A review of ApocalyptoThose hoping for a mystical Mayan experience will be disappointed. It could certainly be interpreted that the director takes swipes at all religions and their potential for dehumanizing, corrupting influence, but Apocalypto is a revenge/action movie, and once that fact is recognized, its premise is simplified. But Gibson has always been a great director of action. The violence is both brutal and exciting, lending itself to his greatest strength—his visuals.

Apocalypto is lovely to watch. There are gorgeous shots, and the entire production design is stunning, a paradise of body modification and landscapes. All of the scenes in the Mayan capitol are impressive, especially the pyramids, even when there’s a severed head bouncing down the steps.

So, if you attend, that’s what you’ll get—some gorgeous visuals and an extended jungle chase scene featuring scantily clad dudes sporting tattoos and multiple piercings. But, irony aside, here’s what I suspect will happen: Apocalypto will fare poorly at the box office, and it will be attributed to Gibson’s personal actions. That might a contributing factor, but I think the reason this will happen is because audiences—especially the core crowd that made The Passion of the Christ so profitable—just aren’t so interested in movies in Mayan without stars.
Comment:  Judging by the reviews I've read, Apocalypto is unlikely to get any best-movie or -actor nominations. It may get some nominations for its visuals--e.g., cinematography, art direction, costumes, or effects.

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