10,000 BC Movie Review

Posted by Nick in Movies, Reviews on March 21st, 2008.

Roland Emmerich (director) likes to go back and forth in time, accompanied by a big budget. With Independence Day he considered an alien invasion, in The Day After Tomorrow he showed the results of an abrupt global warming, in 1998 he remade Godzilla. Even though these movies are big business, the quality varies from questionable to bad. Therefore it is no surprise that I was not very excited to see his newest movie, 10,000 BC.

The poster. In 10,000 BC a young mammoth hunter journeys through prehistoric land to secure the existence of his mountain tribe. D’Leh’s friend Evolet gets kidnapped by a mysterious raid. D’Leh leads his people through new land, seeking his girlfriend.

That’s as far as the coherence goes, which the movie is lacking badly. Emmerich is not interested in telling a coherent story, moreover, he is not interested in telling a story, since this movie is style over substance in the most horrible way. How cheesy does that sound? Perhaps cheesier than this movie. Even though the narrator, nobody less than Omar Sharif tries to cut everything together nicely, he fails miserebly, and that’s entirely due to the "storytelling". There are many loose ends in the movie (like, where the hell does this tribe live? It seems like they’re fast runners, since they can travel from the rain forest to the Sahara in no time), which are not tied together nicely. The narrator jumps in right where you expect him to, which is nothing but creative.

The characters in the movie are so hollow and blank, that they could be cut out of one single sheet of toilet paper. You don’t care about a piece of toilet paper, don’t you? You just shove it up your you know where.. That’s exactly how I felt about the characters in the particular movie. We don’t care about, we don’t want them to succeed, because we don’t root for them. Forget about character development, we don’t even need that in a movie as such, but simple character build-up, or interaction would have been a nice intermezzo for idiotic encounters with giant beasts.

Knowing Emmerich’s grand scale movies, this one could benefit from kick-ass special effects and battle scenes. But they’re totally out of the picture. The action scenes are boring. There is no visceral thrill. At no point are we emotionally involved. The outcome is obvious and predictable. The editing is choppy, which prevents the actions scenes from really having an impact.

The scale of the movie isn’t epic either. The comparison with 300 is easily made, but it’s not a fair one. 300, based on a graphic novel, does pretend to be taken seriously, or being historically accurate. It’s just a popcorn flick, which little or no interest in showing events as how they might have occurred, but merely to entertain us with mindblowing actions scenes and visuals, that actually look awesome. In this case with 10,000 BC, it’s brutal how inaccurate the events are presented. The mountain tribe, which speaks English perfectly, lives somewhere, where traveling from a snowy mountain area to a rainforest, and later on to the Sahara takes just a couple weeks. The rendezvous with the highly advanced people, who builds high tech pyramids, is just a little too much of unbuyable junk.

The movie would have worked as intened kitsch, with a little but more coherence, and less "taking it self too seriously", but it does unfortunately everything wrong.



Movie details

Director: Roland Emmerich
Writers: Roland Emmerich & Harald Kloser
Genre: Action / Drama
Runtime: 109 min.
Release date: 7 march 2008


Official website
IMDB page
10,000 BC at Rotten Tomatoes

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