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Apocalypto (DVD)

Starring: A jungle, some impressive sets and a very large crowd.

Rated: 18

Story: Shortly before the arrival of Europeans, some cuddly rural Mayans get rounded up for sacrifice by some nasty urban Mayans. There is plenty of gory death. It eventually all goes Die Hard with blow pipes.

Comments: This is an odd one. The dialogue is entirely in Yucatan, it's set five hundred years ago in the middle of nowhere, it starts out as an idyllic look at indigenous culture and vast amounts of effort have gone into making it look authentic but, in a surprise twist, it's directed by Mel Gibson and is an out-and-out action film. It's always intriguing or exciting, though, so no harm done.

Suspension of disbelief is an issue, however. By three-quarters of the way through the film, the main character, Jaguar Paw, should be dead. The only thing keeping him alive is destiny (that and the ability to run really fast in the dark despite being exhausted and full of holes). When so much time and money has obviously been spent on spectacular visual realism, it seems strange that the hero should turn out to be Robocop in a loincloth.

Conclusion: Cecil B DeMille meets John McClane... in a Mexican jungle... with a big knife.

Explosions: None.
Slaughter: Plenty.
Lucky escapes: Too many.
Assaults with a deadly frog: One.

Rating: 4/5.

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