Year 2, Day 67 - 3/8/10 - Movie #432
BEFORE: With all the mastodons/mammoths in the last film, I could play off of that and watch "Ice Age 3", but that movie's still only available on PPV, and I'm not paying $4.99 for it when it will probably be on premium cable in just a few months. Instead I'll stick with the theme of primitive warriors, and watch this film about the Mayans.
THE PLOT: As the Mayan kingdom faces its decline, the rulers insist the key to prosperity is to build more temples and offer human sacrifices. Jaguar Paw, a young man captured for sacrifice, flees to avoid his fate.
AFTER: There are a LOT of similarities between "10,000 B.C." and this film - enough to make me think they were developed simultaneously at rival studios. They both feature one primitive tribe capturing and enslaving members of another, both feature pyramids (Egyptian? and Mayan), both have main characters who travel a great distance to reunite with their mates, and both have long, detailed prophecies that turn out to be incredibly accurate.
In this film Jaguar Paw is one of many Mayans captured and taken to the rather gory sacrificial altar - you have to figure the Mayans sacrificed thousands, and each one has to have a back-story, right? I won't reveal how he manages to escape, or all the twists along the way, but the second half of the film is a mad race through the jungle, pursued by about a dozen trained Mayan warriors.
Jaguar Paw is wounded and outmatched, yet still must find a way to return to his village, where his pregnant wife is about to give birth, despite being hidden in a well which is rapidly filling up with water. Needless to say, it's something of a tense situation.
I'm giving the edge to "Apocalypto" here because it felt more believable, and was more of an action-packed thrill-ride, without all the fancy-schmancy CGI creatures. I could have done without all the gore, but again, completely believable given the nature of the action.
RATING: 6 out of 10 howler monkeys