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Published on May 24th, 2008 | by simeon

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10,000 B.C.

If one wanted a recipe for how to make a bad movie in five steps it could unfold as follows. Step one, set the film during a historical time period, but pay zero attention to the historical accuracy. Secondly, include all manner of animals in the film, but do not bother to be accurate about the sizes, shapes, and dispositions of such creatures, as fossil records are to be ignored. Thirdly, find the most bland, unappealing cast you can, and make sure everyone is of different ethnic backgrounds, even for members of the same tribe. Fourth, make the dialogue so painfully bad and stiff that the cringe inducing efforts numb the audience and generate no emotion. Finally, blend this all in with tepid action scenes, weak fx, and release to the public.
In the new film 10,000 B.C. Director Roland Emmerich truly shows that his glory days of “Stargate” and “Independence Day” have long since passed, and has given audience a film so bland, and boring, that I have to wonder who thought this film deserved to see the light of day.
The film stars Steven Strait as D’Leh, a young hunter who is tormented by being abandoned by his father many years earlier. His pain is dulled by his love for the blue eyed Evolet (Camilla Belle) who tribal legend has touted a special person for the future of the tribe, as she will signal a change in their direction.
D’leh has his life upturned when following a Mammoth hunt; he sees Evolet and many of his village warriors taken by masked men on horses, for a fate unknown. Knowing the tribe cannot survive without warriors, D’Leh and Tic’ Tic (Cliff Curtis), lead a small group as they attempt to free Evolet and their warriors.
Along the way, the audience is shown them crossing the mountains, enduring the desert, and confronting those who took their people captive and other strange creatures. Sadly, this is about as complex as the plot gets, and the characters and their dialogue are so painfully bland and bad, I harkened back to the way Native Americans were portrayed in the westerns of the 50’s to find a similar comparison. I do not expect action films to be acting powerhouses, but when Mammoth #3 and Saber cat #1 are the best actors in a film, there are definitely problems. I loved the inclusion of men on horseback that forgot the small fact that horses of that time were much smaller and could not support a grown man. Let us also wonder at the craftsmanship of the simple hunters sandals. They were made of hide and fur, yet manage to withstand climbing a snow covered mountain, crossing a hot desert, and much more without ever suffering any damage. I know that shoes do not make a film, but having the cast in bare feet would have been far more accurate.
Another fun fact was the inclusion of races that implied that our heroes visited Africa, Egypt, and their people as well as the Shamans. We of course are supposed to forget the 8,000 or so years that separated the cultures as well as the technologies they were displaying such as forged metals, had woven tapestries, and more. I could go on for quite a while, but suffice it to say it looks like nobody associated with the film made any attempts at historical accuracy.
When the action does come, it is very dull, as there is precious little to get the adrenalin going in the film, especially with a cast that is given characters that are so pathetic, you start to route for a Mammoth to come and squash them.
I had hoped that the FX would save the day, but this to be a letdown, especially the badly done backgrounds, and creatures, that clearly did not mesh with their surroundings.
In short, “10, 00 B.C.” is a complete and utter disaster, that should have remained a long forgotten relic and saved the audience the tedium of watching it. Where is Mystery Science Theater 3000 when we need it, as this film would be rife for their special brand of attention.
1 star out of 5
Gareth Von Kallenbach


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