"Gibson lousy, ‘Apocalypto’ not

I just finished reading your review of Apocalypto (Film, Dec. 13-20), and I have to say that I’m sorry that you didn’t like this very entertaining movie. I do agree with you that there was a lot of walking, and the movie would have been served better had it been edited down by about 10 minutes or so in the middle, but let’s not get too nit-picky.

I think your real problem with the movie comes from what Mel Gibson said about Jewish people — we all know about it, we all hate him for it — and not from the violence found within the film.

When I watched The Passion of the Christ, I looked away, I couldn’t watch the brutal violence that was right there up front for all to see, as the flesh was torn from Jesus’ side. But, in Apocalypto, we cut away, we show other people’s reactions, we never really stay with the terror that is going on in the scene. Heads being severed and rolled down stairs is gory and enough to turn some people’s heads, but it was shown in a wide shot (no doubt to hide the fact that that wasn’t really a head). And I don’t know about you, but the jaguar scene — come on — that did not look real. Anyway …

What I’m trying to say is that you completely ignored the fact that Mel Gibson was able to tell this story, pretty much, without the use of dialogue as a device to deliver exposition. Seventy-five percent of this movie was told by the visuals, the shots taken, people’s reactions. Most of Hollywood relies on Anthony Hopkins or some other brilliant actor to come on in and tell us what the story is about.

Mel Gibson directed this movie at a level that most directors would aspire to.

Do I think it’s a five out of five star movie? No. It’s a three and a half star movie. But give credit where credit is due. Mel Gibson may be a lousy human being, but Apocalypto was one hell of an entertaining movie.

Thomas D. Brown II

VENTURA, Calif.

 

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