Okay, let’s get this out of the way. “10,000 B.C.” is probably the most historically inaccurate movie of all time.
I’ve always been a proponent of the “If it’s good, who cares?” approach. But when the filmmakers give such a specific year as the title and
the film is so completely and utterly ridiculous, you can’t help but laugh at this film.
But I’m not holding that against the film…seriously.
What I do hold against “10,000 B.C.” are: its bland, stiff and uninteresting characters, its clichéd fortune cookie plot, and yet another
example of a pointless narrator.
And man, is this an example of bad narration. Omar Shariff provides his signature voice to the film, but his lines range from describing what
we can already see happening on screen, to spouting out incomprehensible ‘mystical speak.’
The rest of the talent doesn’t fare much better. Comprised of mostly unknowns, the cast is uniformly uninteresting thanks to dispensable
dialog and director Roland Emmerich’s visuals first, story second approach.
Emmerich is clearly going for an audience accessible version of Mel Gibson’s brilliant “Apocalypto,” but in doing so he not only forgets
about character, but waters down every edge this film could have had.
In Gibson’s film there was a brutality that made every threat legitimate. This is the kiddie version.
In fact, the story structure is almost exactly the same as that film. A coincidence I’m sure…
One does have to give Emmerich his credit as a large scale director, however. He provides some spectacular large scale shots.
His action sequences are nothing to scoff at either. They may not leave a lasting impression, but they do stand out amidst the rest of the
Visual effects range from decent to not so much (I’m looking at you CG Sabre-Tooth Tiger!). They are helped by occasionally good art
direction and cinematography.
But these technical achievements are not nearly enough to redeem this film. “10,000 B.C.” is just downright bad.
On top of the poor acting and plot, the film takes itself far too seriously. I don’t think there is a single joke in this film.
When Emmerich pulls out the slow-mo in the finale, it becomes painfully obvious that we are supposed to be taking all of this nonsense
seriously. But when we are following a group of boring characters across three different climates (all within easy walking distance!) in
order to fulfill a nonsensical plot, that’s just as ridiculous as the film itself.
(out of four)
Directed by: Roland Emmerich
Written by: Roland Emmerich and Harold Kloser
Starring: Steven Strait, Camilla Belle
Cinematography by: Ueli Steiger
Music by: Harold Kloser and Thomas Wanker
Released: March 7, 2008; 109 Minutes