I really went into APOCALYPTO wanting to hate the film. Mad Mel is an anti-Semite, a sexist, a conservative Christian so conservative that he had to create his own church, and worst of all, a lover of violence. The film is indeed ultra-violent to the point of repulsion.
The film is interesting in that it uses little language and most of the story is told visually. When he sticks to that formula, the film works surprisingly well. Unfortunately, the first act relies on reading a lot of subtitles, which means I'm not looking at his visuals. This was more acceptable in PASSION because we don't really need to read those subtitles to know what's going on. In this film, it's a little confusing.
The third act of the film works the best; it's essentially one long chase sequence that's pretty exciting. Perhaps the only flaw is how awful the animal puppets are. One sequence is so clearly edited around the animal that you can't even tell what kind of animal it was supposed to be.
The violence is also part of its undoing. There's no reason for this level of graphic violence in a film. It's certainly not entertaining.
It's too bad Mel can't use his powers for good, instead of evil.
The movie did sound great, though.