Written by Roland Emmerich & Harald Kloser
Directed by Roland Emmerich
Running Time: 1:48
for sequences of intense action and violence.
10,000 BC may have been one of the worst movies I've ever seen.
Living in a remote mountain region, a young hunter named D'Leh is an outcast within his tribe, because his father abandoned his people years ago. He is befriended by a young girl named Evolet, and he vows to be with her forever. When they get older, a band of marauders invades the camp and kidnaps almost everyone, including Evolet. D'Leh was off feeling sorry for himself and was able to escape. He follows the marauders, determined to save Evolet. Along the way he encounters giant creatures, and other tribes who join forces with him. At the end of their journey, they come upon a group of people led by a mysterious and powerful God. Together D'Leh and his new friends must take down the God who has enslaved his people, and save Evolet.
I'm not even sure where to begin. I guess I'll start at the beginning. Within 15 minutes of the start of the film I leaned over to my friend and said "I know we've only been watching 15 minutes, but this may be the worst movie I've ever seen." He nodded. And it never got any better. First off, the special effects were horrendous. I've read that the budget of the movie was a modest $75M but I have no idea where the money went. It didn't go to special effects because I haven't seen things this ugly in decades. I mean you could seriously go back to a movie from the 80s where they started using computers to do graphics and it would look better. The movie starts off with a bunch of people chasing elephant-looking creatures. It was awful. At no point did I ever believe man and animal were together. Everything looked like it was done in front of a blue screen, including shots where people are just standing around and talking. From close-up, we never see someone walking too far away. Why? Because they'd walk into a wall. To make up for that, there were dozens of wide, sweeping shots of deserts and snow covered mountains. Except in the movie there was no snow, there was 'white rain'.
So let me get this straight... We're in 10,000 B.C. and people are speaking English? And people within their own tribe have different accents. So for the purposes of the movie, let's put aside the fact that they're speaking ENGLISH. It is a movie after all, and unless we wanted Apocalypto 2, it needed to be in a language we understood. Yet for some reason, even though everyone spoke perfect English, there was no word for snow. Eskimos reportedly have hundreds of words for snow, yet in this fake world, they called it 'white rain'. C'mon, really? You've got a movie where we're supposed to believe people can speak English, and an old woman is some kind of mystic who spits on others, yet they're going to go quaint on us and say there is no snow, just 'white rain'. OK I'm beating this into the ground, I know, but it's one of the things that bugged me. The movie seems like it wants to at least try and be good, but it never gets there. It is touted as an epic, but there was no sense of epicness. Simply having sweeping shots of small groups of men parading aimlessly through the desert does not make an epic. And epic needs to feel big and this one felt cheesy.
The 'acting' is completely laughable. And I did in fact laugh. A lot. But not in a good way. I think there was one scene that was meant to be played for laughs (when one of them eats a hot pepper and starts to cough) but otherwise, it was supposed to be a serious and moving film. I was moved to check my watch at least 6 times. This was one of those times when knowing the running time was helpful because I knew how much longer I had to sit there. There wasn't a line of dialogue that was worthwhile. Before the movie started my friend and I wondered if maybe this would be a film where no one spoke, seeing as how no one was supposed to be speaking English. I think this could have been a decent film if no one had to say anything.
Then there were the giant turkeys. Yes at one point, after the marauders kidnap our heroes and take them through a forest, where giant turkeys attack. I say again - giant turkeys. There is no other way to explain them, unless you want to call them giant chickens. Where the Hell did they come from? What planet are we living on where giant turkeys are roaming the forests? The same planet I guess where giant tigers will sniff you, then leap over you, then walk away without attacking. Towards the end of the film we see what appears to be the Sphinx being built. Now at first I thought, OK, they've gone too far... the Sphinx wasn't built until at least 7,000 years later. However upon doing some research it appears that scientists now believe the Sphinx may have in fact been built right around this time. So kudos to the filmmakers for that.
There are two reasons why I didn't give this movie an 'F'. One - there was a 30 second fight scene where D'Leh's right hand man Tic'Tic takes on three guys at once. So that was a good half a minute. And two - Camilla Belle is hot. Apparently it was commonplace for women of the time to have perfectly shaped eyebrows and shave their legs, which certainly helped her appearance. Those are two rather flimsy reasons to like a film, but I always feel I have to give movies a fighting chance. But all in all, there was nothing else for me to hang my hat on.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I thought 10,000 BC was a horrible, horrible movie. There were people in the audience clapping when the movie ended, but that may have been because the movie ended. Or perhaps they were drunk.
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