Release Date: 8 December 2006 (USA)
Scene from the movie - Spoiler, Graphic
First off I am not a fan of Mel Gibson. I was really cynical when watching this movie.
This movie has a great storyline. It kept my attention the whole movie. The scenery was spectacular and the way it was shot was nice. This movie is however very graphic and bloody. Personally I wouldn't let any kid under 16 or so watch it. Though it is really graphic I feel it was done in a way that showed reality. If a tribe invades another tribe they wont hit each other on the heads and that be it. It would have been a very bloody and traumatic experience. Though graphic it is realistic violence.
This is a movie about a tribe of Mayans who are invaded while sleeping and are kidnapped. A young warrior, Jaguar Paw, is able to hide his pregnant wife and son before he is captured also. The captives are taken to a temple where they are thrown into a culture shock of seeing disease, famine, slavery, and human sacrifice. Jaguar Paw manages to escape and is chased through the forest in his attempt to get back to his family and land.
One thing I keep seeing on other peoples reviews is the invading tribe was acting in a manner like the Aztecs and not the Mayans. While watching the movie it was my understanding the tribe that was kidnapped was Mayan and the invading tribe was Aztecs.
The invading tribe used 2 primary weapons, the Macuahuitl and the Atlatl, which are both weapons of choice of the Aztecs. A Macuahuitl is a club which has 2 grooves cut running the length of the club. Obsidian shards about 2-5 inches longs are placed in the groves and are held in place with tar. Here
is a photo of one. An Atlatl is a hooked stick of varying size and the end of a spear is placed against the hook and when thrown the Atlatl can give the spear a lot more speed and distance than just throwing the spear alone. Here
is a pic of an Atlatl and how it is used.
The God depicted in the movie the "kidnappers" were honoring was named Kukulkan. This was a Mayan deity but because of outside influences. Quetzalcoatl was a God of the Aztecs and Toltec. He was a feathered serpent they would do sacrifices to. As the Toltecs wandered further south and met the Mayans. The Mayans already had beliefs their ancestors were carried to and from earth and the sky by a great serpent. The story of a feathered serpent fit into their current beliefs and Kukulkan was born. The Mayan gos Kukulkan did not "require" sacrifices where the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl did.
I agree with historians it is a bad movie because it shows the Mayans in a bad light. It is like Mel Gibson and whoever else was involved with the screenplay creation was picking and choosing what information they wanted in the movie but were mixing up Aztec and Mayan history and culture. There are some things that were researched well such as there was an eclipse on Jan 12, 1517 and the Spanish did land in Mayan area in 1517 but overall he should have gone with Aztecs kidnapping the Mayans or he should have researched Mayan culture more.
I feel from an average viewers standpoint this is a great movie but do not take what is in this movie for fact.