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|Rudy Youngblood||Jaguar Paw|
|Morris Birdyellowhead||Flint Sky|
|Raoul Trujillo||Zero Wolf|
|Carlos Emilio Báez||Turtles Run|
|Amilcar Ramírez||Curl Nose|
|Israel Contreras||Smoke Frog|
|Israel Ríos||Cocoa Leaf|
|Espiridion Acosta Cache||Old Story Teller|
|Mayra Serbulo||Young Woman|
|Gerardo Taracena||Middle Eye|
|Rodolfo Palacios||Snake Ink|
|Iazua Larios||Sky Flower|
|Lorena Heranandez||Village Girl|
|Sayuri Gutierrez||Eldest Daughter|
|Hiram Soto||Fish Hunter|
|José Suárez||First Temple Sacrifice|
|Ariel Galvan||Hanging Moss|
|Bernardo Ruiz||Drunkards Four|
|Ricardo Diaz Mendoza||Cut Rock|
|Richard Can||Ten Peccary|
|Carlos Ramos||Monkey Jaw|
|Ammel Rodrigo Mendoza||Buzzard Hook|
|Marco Antonio Argueta||Speaking Wind|
|Javier Escobar||Vicious Holcane|
|Fernando Hernandez||High Priest|
|María Isabel Díaz||Mother in Law|
|James Horner||Original Music Composer|
|Thomas E. Sanders||Production Design|
|Dean Semler||Director of Photography|
|Anna Roth||Unit Production Manager|
|Rajeev Malhotra||Post-Production Manager|
|Mayes C. Rubeo||Costume Design|
|Roberto Bonelli||Art Direction|
|Naaman Marshall||Art Direction|
|Mic Rodgers||Stunt Coordinator|
|Ned Dowd||Executive Producer|
|Vicki Christianson||Executive Producer|
|Gerardo Albarrán||Stunts Coordinator|
|Aldo Signoretti||Makeup Artist|
|Vittorio Sodano||Makeup Artist|
|Ted Rae||Visual Effects Supervisor|
|Keith VanderLaan||Animatronic and Prosthetic Effects|
|Ian Fox||Camera Operator|
|Kevin O'Connell||Camera Operator|
|Greg P. Russell||Camera Operator|
|Sean McCormack||Camera Operator|
|Kami Asgar||Camera Operator|
|Rick Young||Camera Operator|
|Joseph Martens||Camera Operator|
"When the end comes, not everyone is ready to go"
While hunting tapir in the Mesoamerican jungle, Jaguar Paw (Rudy Youngblood), his father Flint Sky (Morris Birdyellowhead), and their fellow tribesmen encounter a procession of traumatized refugees. The group's leader explains that their lands were ravaged, and asks for permission to pass through the jungle. When Jaguar Paw and his tribesmen return home, Flint Sky tells his son not to let the refugees' fear infect him.
The next morning, after Jaguar Paw wakes from a nightmare involving the refugee leader, he sees warriors entering the village and setting the huts on fire. The raiders, led by Zero Wolf (Raoul Trujillo), attack and subdue the villagers. Jaguar Paw slips out with his pregnant wife Seven (Dalia Hernández) and his little son Turtles Run (Carlos Emilio Báez), lowering them by vine into a deep vertical cave, tying the vine off so they could climb out later. Jaguar Paw then kills a raider and returns to help the village. He is eventually subdued and a raider named Middle Eye (Gerardo Taracena), whom Jaguar Paw almost killed, slits Flint Sky's throat while the bound Jaguar Paw can only watch. Before the raiders leave with their prisoners, Snake Ink, one of the raider captains, notices Jaguar Paw staring toward the cave. Suspicious of the tied-off vine hanging into the cave, he cuts it, trapping Seven and Turtles Run. Jaguar Paw and the other captives are then led off into the jungle.
A short distance from the village they join another group of raiders who have captured the refugees Jaguar Paw met the day before. Later, Cocoa Leaf, a wounded captive tied to the same pole as Jaguar Paw nearly tumbles off a cliff, but Jaguar Paw and the others are able to pull him back up with incredible effort. Though Middle Eye, who is guarding them, is impressed by this show of brute power, he kills Cocoa Leaf by cutting him loose and pushing him off the cliff.
The raiding party march toward a Mayan city, encountering razed forests and failed maize crops, along with villages decimated by plague. A little girl dying of plague prophesies that there will be a solar eclipse and a man running with a jaguar will bring the raiders to those who will scratch out the earth and end their world. In the city's outskirts, where the prisoners come upon slaves working in lime quarries, the female captives are sold as slaves while the males are escorted to the top of a step pyramid. The high priest sacrifices several captives, including Jaguar Paw's friend Curl Nose (Amílcar Ramírez), by cutting out their beating hearts before beheading them. When Jaguar Paw is about to be sacrificed, a solar eclipse occurs. The high priest looks at the emperor and the two share a knowing smile while the people below panic at the phenomenon. The priest declares the god Kukulkan is satisfied with the sacrifices. He asks Kukulkan to let light return to the world and the eclipse passes. The crowd cheers in amazement and the priest orders that the remaining captives be led away and "disposed of".
Zero Wolf takes the captives to a ball court. The captives are released in pairs and forced to run the length of the open space within the ball court, offering Zero Wolf's men some target practice, with a cynical promise of freedom should they reach the end of the field alive. Zero Wolf's son, Cut Rock (Ricardo Díaz Mendoza), is sent to the end of the field to "finish" any survivors. The raiders target the runners with spears, arrows and large stones. The first pair are Jaguar Paw's last living friends, Smoke Frog and Blunted (Jonathan Brewer). Smoke Frog is struck by a heavy stone, then finished off by Cut Rock while Blunted is impaled through the stomach by a spear launched using a spear thrower.
Next up are Jaguar Paw and the refugee leader from the beginning. Although they almost make it, the refugee leader is shot through the head with an arrow. Jaguar Paw is shot in the waist with another arrow although he is able to break off the arrowhead. As Cut Rock approaches to finish Jaguar Paw, the not-quite-dead Blunted trips Cut Rock, buying Jaguar Paw time. Cut Rock gets up and savagely kills Blunted, then turns to finish off Jaguar Paw, who reaches up and slices through Cut Rock's neck with the broken-off arrowhead. Jaguar Paw then pulls the arrow from his back and stumbles away towards the jungle.
As Cut Rock bleeds out with Zero Wolf easing him into the next life, Jaguar Paw runs through a withered maize field and an open mass grave of sacrificial victims before finally reaching the jungle. The enraged Zero Wolf and his eight men pursue Jaguar Paw into the jungle and back toward Jaguar Paw's home. Eventually Jaguar Paw climbs a tree. The pursuers move past him, but a black jaguar who has made the tree its home is angered by him, and gives chase. The raiders see Jaguar Paw and the jaguar. At first they only see Jaguar Paw. They move to intercept him, but the jaguar kills one of the raiders. The raiders are forced to stay and kill the jaguar. They ponder this next fulfillment of the girl's prophecy.
Again in pursuit, another raider, Drunkards Four, is killed when a venomous snake bites his neck. Eventually, after running all night, Jaguar Paw finds himself caught between a high waterfall and the raiders and is forced to jump. He survives and declares from the riverbank below that the raiders are now in his homelands, echoing his father's challenge to the refugees at the beginning of the film.
After listening to Jaguar Paw's challenge, Zero Wolf says they must pursue him over the waterfall, but Snake Ink says they will climb down around the side after Jaguar Paw. Zero Wolf stabs Snake Ink for his impudence. Zero Wolf then gives the order that he and his men will jump the falls. While most make it alive, one smashes his head on the rocks below and is killed. The remaining men swim to the shore and restart their pursuit. Jaguar Paw escapes a pool of black quicksand and, now camouflaged in black mud, resolves to become the hunter rather than the hunted. First he disables his pursuers by throwing a bees' nest into their midst. The coating of mud protects Jaguar Paw from the bees. Next, Jaguar Paw prepares poison darts with poison he extracts from a tree toad. The darts allow him to kill another raider. This leads to his showdown with the sadistic Middle Eye, whom Jaguar Paw bludgeons to death with the Mayan war club of the raider he just killed. Now, to add to Jaguar Paw's worries, it begins raining heavily. The cave where Jaguar Paw's wife and son are trapped is starting to flood. As Jaguar Paw rushes to save his family, Zero Wolf confronts him and shoots him again with an arrow. As Zero Wolf advances to finish Jaguar Paw, he blunders into Jaguar Paw's tapir-hunting trap from the opening scene; he is impaled and killed.
Following Zero Wolf's death, the two remaining raiders chase Jaguar Paw out to a beach where, much to the surprise of all three of them, they encounter conquistador ships anchored off the coast, with men making their way ashore. The amazement of the raiders allows Jaguar Paw to flee. He returns into the forest to pull his wife and son out of the flooded pit where they are hiding, and where Seven has just given birth to a second son. As the reunited family look out from the forest towards the Spanish ships, Seven wonders if they should go to them, but Jaguar Paw says they should return to the forest in search of a new beginning.
Theatrical : 2006-12-08 : United States of America
DVD : 2007-05-22