“The public narrative surrounding Apocalypto is almost all about [Mel] Gibson, and hardly at all about the movie,” writes Salon‘s Andrew O’Hehir. “Can the demented Captain Ahab accomplishment of this film outweigh, in the hearts and minds of movie-biz insiders, Gibson’s drunken anti-Semitic tirade or his general reputation as a religious fanatic and all-around nutjob?
“Well, having seen Apocalypto I have two things to tell you: Mel Gibson has serious issues with violence and masculinity, and if there’s really ‘Oscar buzz’ around this picture, then everyone in Hollywood really is an idiot.” (This is a reference to Sharon Waxman‘s piece in the 12.4 N.Y. Times that credited Apocalypto with same.)
“There are about 10 truly amazing minutes in Apocalypto, when the film’s hero, a captured villager named Jaguar Paw (played by the Native American actor Rudy Youngblood), is brought into a Maya city as a prisoner and taken to the central pyramid, where captives are being sacrificed by the score to appease Kukulcan, supreme god of the Maya pantheon (equivalent to the Toltec-Aztec god Quetzalcoatl). And that’s about it.”