Time‘s Tim Padgett has visited the Yucatan peninsula set of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto (Touchstone, 8.4), and discovered that the movie’s message will likely be embraced by the followers of “liberal Hollywood’s bible,” and that it might play like some kind of wild-ass companion piece to Al Gore‘s anti-global warming film An Inconvenient Truth, which is opening this spring. “Wacko Mel”, as he is generally thought of and/or referred to in liberal circles, has made a violent and very bloody film with human-sacrifice scenes, okay, but it’s also a metaphorical warning piece about how the Mayan civilization self-destructed due to ecological abuse and war-mongering. “The parallels between the environmental imbalance and corruption of values that doomed the Maya and what’s happening to our own civilization are eerie,” says Gibson’s rookie co-screenwriter Farhad Safinia. Gibson puts it more bluntly: “The fearmongering we depict in this film reminds me a little of President Bush and his guys.” After reading this piece, frankly, I’ve started to feel a subtle shift in my attitude about Gibson. Tell you what…I won’t use the term “wacko Mel” any more. That wasn’t nice to begin with.