Review: 10,000 B.C
Plot: When his tribe is attacked, teenage caveman D'Leh (Steven Strait) must venture into the unknown to rescue his true love, Evolet (Camilla Belle), and his fellow tribesmen, who've been enslaved by a clan of mysterious marauders on horseback. Along the way he'll have to face saber toothed tigers, wholly mammoths, and giant mutant ostriches (seriously).
Review: Boy- did this suck! I guess Roland Emmerich must have really liked APOCALYPTO- because he's just remade it! Seriously- if you take APOCALYPTO, replace the Myans with cavemen, take out all the violence and make the characters speak English- you've got 10,000 B.C.
Ok- maybe I'm not being fair here. 10,000 B.C. was probably already in production by the time APOCALYPTO came out. The film was originally slated for a Summer 07 release, but the date was shuffled after 300 opened to boffo box office at this time last year, and the crafty execs probably thought they had another 300 in their hands with this film. Sadly- this film is no 300. Which brings me to the biggest difference between APOCALYPTO & 10,000 B.C. APOCALYPTO was good, 10,000 B.C. is not.
There are so many problems with this film that I hardly know where to begin. There haven't been a lot of good films made about cavemen over the years (with the exception of Jean-Jacques Annaud's QUEST FOR FIRE), and this is probably the goofiest caveman film to come along since the Ringo Starr vehicle CAVEMAN, from 1981.
One of the biggest problems with the film is the casting. Steven Strait and Camilla Belle are way too attractive to be playing credible cave people. Belle in particular, with her smooth skin and delicate features seems out of place. Twenty year old Strait does not fare much better- as he doesn't seem anywhere near weathered enough to be playing a caveman warrior. He also sports a dreadlock haircut that looks way too fashionable for the era, and at one point he even shows up with the hair pulled back into a ponytail! That's right folks- we get a prehistoric pony tail! I also didn't care for his artfully designed facial hair- which looked more first year college student than ancient warrior.
Another big problem is the script, which Emmerich co wrote with Harald Kloser- who also wrote the musical score. Kloser's bombabstic score is actually not bad at all, but the script is absolutely atrocious. Omar Sharif is on hand to provide some incredibly clunky narration- which serves no purpose whatsoever, but might be good for a few unintentional laughs. The anachronistic dialogue doesn't fare much better. These cavemen have a pretty vast vocabulary, and at times they even manage to toss off a couple of one liners (when a tribesman says D'Leh looks a little young to be leading a battle, he responds with a smirk "I'm older than I look" ) Seriously- at times it was like watching a feature length Geico commercial- although the Geico cavemen look more realistic.
Now I know some will think I'm being way too hard on 10,000 B.C. After all- it is a Roland Emmerich movie. Isn't it supposed to be cheesy? I have nothing against Emmerich- I've enjoyed most of his films, but when he's bad- he's BAAAAAAAAD. Take GODZILLA- which I think is the worst film of the 1990's. Is there anyone out there that actually enjoyed that film? Thankfully, 10,000 B.C. is not quite as bad as GODZILLA, but it's not as stupidly entertaining as INDEPENDENCE DAY, STARGATE, or even THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. Even when Emmerich films are bad, you can usually at least sit back and enjoy the eye candy, but even the special FX come up short in this film. The CGI saber tooth tigers, and wholly mammoths look extremely fake and cartoonish, and the killer mutant ostriches- well, the less said about them, the better.