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There is not a chance in hell that Mel Gibson will ever get a fair treatment again. After all his strange ventures involving Jesus The Lord and Mr Gibson Senior, after giving evidence to the old Latin saying of "In Vino Veritas", he will just remain to be a very highly contextualised Hollywood player. You can see that clearly in how "Apocalypso" was being treated by the reviews: a lot of introduction was given on the fact that the film was extremely violent, much talk was about Jews and policewomen, many rambled on about alcoholism and weird family. And some (and they were not few) stressed that despite this backstory, Apocalypto turned out to be a "surprisingly good film" (it’s not a real quote, it is the sum of all quotes, so to say). And actually: this is complete rubbish. Apocalypto’s strengths are exclusively formal: the language (robustly handled and well-established after the "Passion"-experience), the violence (he had a lot of time to learn that since Mad Max – but I did not find too shocking examples, anyway), the natives’ look and feel and behaviour (some good scenes – even though hardly credible – on their humour, too). The plot is of the lowest conceivable drama. Bad guys chase a good guy after killing or arresting his tribe (and himself). Then a bit of a chase (a "kinetic film", as a journalist chose to phrase it) and a serial killing of the enemy. All this without wit or dramatic skill or unexpected twists or spectacular looks. It is disappointing especially on the latter, because Maya America has surely some interesting shots to offer. But Gibson is not one of artistic mastery, he is sometimes good at passion and pathos, hardly ever at finding the right structure or pace or picture in that huge pile on offer at any given moment of film-making. Never mind. Warning: Includes some naked butts. Lots, actually.

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