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You know how when you go to a cafeteria style restaurant and you see something you usually enjoy like lasagna. You get the lasagna and take a bite with the fond memories of the last time you ate it in a real restaurant. When the first taste hits your tongue and all hopes of future meal enjoyment are flushed down the toilet. 10,000BC is the cafeteria lasagna. It looks goods, has the potential to be great, you have fond memories of other movies in the same genre that were good, and then you watch it. It's edible but just barely. The movie had pretty good special effects and wasn't boring which is why I gave it a five. The dialog and acting were for the most part sub-par. The story didn't even make an attempt to suspend your disbelief. Forget historically inaccurate, it was ridiculous. If I were you I would catch the matinée or wait for someone else to pay for the cafeteria lasagna
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Some critics have moaned that as film technology grows, the
storytelling ability of the movies shrinks. I have never quite agreed
with this assessment, as I believe there is a place for spectacle of
any variety, even the mindless kind. However, to those who share the
view of those critics, 10,000 B.C. will most likely be the most
convincing piece of evidence to their argument. Here is a movie that
looks like it cost millions to make, but is saddled with a screenplay
that looks like it came from the Dollar Store.
Director and co-writer, Roland Emmerich is no stranger to brainless spectacles. This is the guy who brought us Independence Day and 1998's Hollywood take on Godzilla, after all. There's a very fine line between brainless and just plain brain dead, unfortunately. 10,000 B.C. is short on spectacle, short on plot, and short on just about anything that people go to the movies for. There are characters and a love story to drive the bare bones plot, but this seems to be added in as an afterthought. I got the impression that Emmerich and fellow screenwriter, Harald Kloser (a film score composer making his first screenplay credit), had the idea for a couple cool scenes, then tried to add a bunch of filler material between them. They threw in some sketchy characters that hardly reach two dimensions to inhabit this filler, and called it a screenplay. In order for spectacle to work, even the cheese-filled variety such as this, there has to be something for the audience to get excited about. This movie is just one big tease.
The plot, if it can even be called that, is set in the days of early man. The heroes are an unnamed tribal people who speak perfect English, all have the bodies of supermodels, and hunt mammoths for food. The two characters we're supposed to be focused on are a pair of young lovers named D'Leh (Steven Strait) and Evolet (Camilla Belle). Why they are in love, and why we should care about them, the movie never goes out of its way to explain. The rest of the villagers do not really matter. They exist simply to be captured when a group of foreign invaders come riding into their peaceful tribe, and kidnap most of them to work as slaves back in their own home colony. Evolet is one of the captured, so D'Leh and a small handful of others set out to find where they've been taken to, and to seek the aid of other tribes that have also been invaded by this enemy. There's a mammoth herd here, a saber tooth tiger there, but they have nothing to do with anything. They're just computer generated special effects who are there simply because the filmmakers felt the current scene needed a special effect shot. I'd be more impressed if the effects didn't look so out of place with the actors most of the time.
10,000 B.C. probably would have worked better as a silent movie, or a subtitled one, as most of the dialogue that comes out of the mouths of these people are as wooden as the spears they carry. The good tribes are the only people in this movie who have mastered the Queen's English, naturally. The evil invading tribe speak in subtitles, and sometimes have their voices mechanically altered and lowered, so that they sound more threatening and demonic. No one in this movie is allowed to have a personality, or act differently from one another. Everybody in each tribe talks, thinks, and behaves exactly the same, with facial hair and differing body types being the main way to tell them apart. This would make it hard to get involved in the story, but the movie dodges this tricky issue by not even having a story in the first place. Once the film's main tribe is attacked, the movie turns into an endless string of filler material and padding to drag the whole thing out to feature length. Aside from a brief encounter with some bird-like prehistoric creatures, there are no moments of action or danger until D'Leh and his followers reach the land of the invading army. The movie throws a saber tooth tiger encounter to fool us into thinking something's gonna happen, but the tiger winds up being just as boring as the human characters inhabiting the movie, and is just millions in special effects budget wasted on something that didn't need to be there in the first place, other than to move the shaky plot along.
There is a key ingredient missing in 10,000 B.C., and that is fun. This movie is not fun to watch at all. I kept on waiting for something, anything, to happen. When something eventually did happen, it was usually underwhelming. I know of people who are interested in seeing this movie, because of the special effects, or because they think it looks enjoyably cheesy. To those people, I say please do not be drawn in by curiosity. This isn't even enjoyable in a bad sense. Your precious time is worth more than what any theater may be charging to see this movie. For anyone wondering, yes, that includes the budget cinema and the price of a rental.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The film starts by introducing us to a Multi-culti tribe in Switzerland
(?) led by a shaman eskimo woman. They seemed to have forgotten that
prehistoric hunter gatherers generally wandered around and fill instead
their days by waiting all year in their village for mammoths to meander
by and kill one for food which luckily lasts all year.
Their 'noble' existence is shattered by some Arab horsemen looking for slaves. They leave the Alps into the jungles (!) of Italy(?) where they are attacked by birds which once lived in South America. The scenery changes to Utah as they track the slavers into Africa. They meet some Zulu tribes who happened to have bumped into the Swiss hunter's father and who somehow managed to teach the Zulu tribe the one language that seems to exist in Europe.
The Arab desert slavers have attacked the zulus too so the Swiss and the zulus combine forces to attack the slavers. Rather than follow the river (the Nile?) to the slave town, they decide to cross the Sahara (after all there's no food or water by a river so this would seem a sensible option!).
After wandering around for weeks they look to the stars and decide to follow the North Star (the slave city, in common with Santa's hideaway is under it apparently). Hey ho, after a few days they find slave city and it turns out to be a pyramid construction site led by an alien. Luckily, the crafty alien god has lots of slaves and a ready source of desert living woolly mammoths to help build his pyramid. Swiss hunter cries 'operation desert freedom' and the slaves rebel.
The alien god's Indian eunuchs (fresh out of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)and some albino africans flee to a giant ship stored in a pyramid but the rebelling slaves catch them up and kill the giant alien who turns out to be 'Lurch' from the Adams family.
Eskimo woman then dies back in the Alps to bring Swiss hunters girlfriend back to life in the Sahara (she's prophetic as shes got blue eyes - apparently rare we're led to believe in Switzerland).
The film ends with the desert dwelling Zulus giving the Swiss crops which somehow grew in the Sahara. The Swiss then set off home surely cursing that they set Lurch's giant boat alight as it surely would have speeded up their journey across the Mediterranean. They have a group hug back in the Alps when their desert crops begin to grow at the foot of a glacier...
Needless to say I won't be buying the DVD
I am a huge fan of IMDb.com, but I never bothered posting a review. Too
much effort, too much fun reading other people's reviews. But
tonight... I had to get out of my system how awful this movie is.
Tonight... I feel like I was sent on Earth for a purpose. I feel like I
understand my role in the great destiny of mankind: to warm people not
to watch this piece of garbage.
It is true that this movie is somewhat the same than Apocalypto. Without a lot: talent, good actors, suspense, drama. Actually I'm not completely honest. There was a part of the movie when the audience got tense. You could feel a sort of tension in the air. People on the edge of their seats. Something was going to happen on the screen... all of a sudden... the end of the movie, yes. The flow of people rushing out, happy to be delivered, happy to go back to their lives.
The highlight of the evening: the previews. It looks like some pretty funny stuff is coming out soon.
I'm quite surprised at how many people are slamming this movie for
historical inaccuracies, use of English, its similarity to several
other films and a happy ending.
I had no problem understanding this was not a historical documentary nor did any signs point to this film being the most original sensation of the year. When I went into the film, I expected a fictional Hollywood story with a bit of action and some entertaining special effects. Guess what I got? Yes, I got a fictional Hollywood story with a bit of action and some entertaining special effects. That's all it aspired to be, it works for the film and it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone thinking of sitting through it.
On a side note, I hope the same people slamming this film for its historical inaccuracies, use of English and similarity to other works go slam Shakespeare next because these terms describe his most famous plays. As far as I am aware, they weren't speaking Shakespearean English in 13th century Verona, Italy. Anyone hear of, The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke? Published before Shakespeare was even alive, I wonder if he based "Romeo and Juliet" off it?
Point is, 10,000 BC should be taken for what it is. It is two hours of Hollywood entertainment. No surprises.
The caveman epic is a neglected film genre. The trailer for this movie
led me to expect something like "Walking With Cavemen," that excellent
BBC documentary of 2003 (except with more drama & violence) or "Quest
for Fire," a still more excellent feature film of 1981 (except with
But despite a title that recalls two previous caveman attempts the rather laughable "One Million B.C." from 1940, and the still more laughable "One Million Years B.C." from 1966 (that one starred Raquel Welch and her two most marketable assets) "10,000 B.C." is actually straight-up science fiction. And that's not a bad thing at all.
This movie has plenty of action, plenty of CGI, gorgeous location photography from Africa and New Zealand, a durable quest narrative, and a hunky leading man in the form of Steven Strait, self-doubting mammoth hunter. The producers make some nice gestures toward Ice Age realism with their portrayal of the encampment of the mammoth hunters, who have cool dreadlocks (like most folks in prehistoric movies nowadays), cool face paint, fancy bone weapons & jewelry, and appropriately furry garments.
There's a lot that the producers get wrong, period-wise. Ice Age hunters didn't live in large groups, they didn't live in permanent villages, and they certainly didn't spend the winter up in the mountains (duh). The mammoth-hunting techniques that we see seem highly dubious also. Still worse, the scenario is geographically challenged - there's no way anyone could walk from alpine mountains to East Asian bamboo jungles to sub-Saharan Africa over the course of a few weeks.
Most annoying to Anglophone viewers will probably be the funny accents. I mean, we all know that nobody spoke English ten thousand years ago, and we're all very comfortable with the convention of portraying cinematic Romans and Spartans (not to mention hobbits and elves!) as speaking English instead of their true languages. So what not have Delay & his people just talk like ordinary Americans? Instead they're given this silly Middle Eastern/Middle European accent that sounds like bad Middle-1960s dubbing.
But that's a small quibble. The most important point here is that "10,000 B.C." is really a homage to the pulp adventures published in "Weird Tales" during the 1920s and 1930s. In this film we're very much in the territory of Robert E. Howard (author of the Conan stories) and Edgar Rice Burroughs (creator of Tarzan, Barsoom, and the lost world of the cavemen "At the Earth's Core"). Because once the story gets rolling, we discover that the mammoth hunters have predatory neighbors whose technology (horseback riding, bows and arrows, sailing ships, woven cloth, monumental architecture in dressed stone) is thousands of years ahead of theirs.
"Some say they came from the stars, or from a land that sank beneath the sea." Aha! What we have here is a lost colony from Atlantis. Exactly the kind that Howard and Burroughs and their many Depression-era imitators loved to write about. Once the Atlantis thing kicks in, you know that evil priests, false gods, ancient prophecies, human sacrifice, and a slave rebellion are all in store. (See "Atlantis, the Lost Continent" (1961) for more of what I'm talking about.) And in this regard "10,000 B.C." does not disappoint.
In the end this film resembles nothing so much as an unauthorized prequel to "Stargate." It's a great Saturday matinée.
I enjoyed ID4, Day After Tomorrow. I'll admit it. This 'film' is awful. What a mess. It takes elements from all other fantasy/scifi/epics and is so cliché'd its an absolute train wreck. Is it an epic? NO. A monster / dinosaur movie? No. Is it a thinly veiled romanctic film akin to Braveheart? NO Is it a gore fest? No. The CGI is NOT that good and rather uninspired. I'd rewatch Jurassic Park and still be in awe compared to this. This movie never made up what it wanted to be. Not that it ever got that far. The climax which is perhaps the only redeeming factor ends so horrifically stupid. It has terrific production values and costume design. Kudos for those...everything else is unremarkable, what a waste.
Well, aside from the historical inaccuracies that everyone has pointed
out, this movie had horrid acting, insipid dialog, and a cliché plot
line that any moderately skilled elementary school kid could have
written. So what are the redeeming qualities of this movie? The
scenery, some of the CGI, and that's about it. On a technical level, I
found it hilarious that for all the hype about this movie, it was far
worse than I could have imagined. Someone made a comment about the
lighting of this movie. There were definitely inconsistencies in the
lighting, which added to the list of things wrong with this movie and
made it feel like perhaps it was a rushed project.
I think if this movie were made without any dialog except for the narrative, it would have been much more enjoyable as a whole.
I was hoping to like this movie, to give it a better review than most
might give it....but I couldn't. In the end, I had to agree with the
reviewers here on IMDb, that this movie stinks. It's true.
It's also one of those films that starts off okay, lures you in, and then deteriorates. With 40 minutes to go in the two-hour film, you're ready to walk out but since you've invested 80 minutes you figure, "I might as well see it through the end." The last half hour then becomes like a session at the dentist's office in which you can't wait for the experience to be over.
Credibility is probably the worst aspect of this film. Seeing people 10,000 years ago in buildings that look pretty well-made and would do an architect proud today, and hearing people speak with British and other assorted accents - in the same tribe - for the time and place (Mideast or Northern Africa in 10,000 B.C.) almost makes one laugh out loud in spots.....yet this is supposed to be a serious movie. The special-effects were weak, especially with the saber-toothed tiger which not only looks very fake but is proportionally ludicrous. The mammoths didn't look at hokey, but they moved very woodenly, computer-like. This was mainly the reason I watched. I knew it might be stupid but I thought it might at least be fun with eye-popping effects. No, nothing was eye-popping here.
It was just dumb....and I didn't even get to the story part, if you want to call it that. Actually, that was the worst part of this film. The screenplay was embarrassingly bad. If you want details on the holes in this story and all the things that were impossible but shown here, check out the other reviews.
Folks: you can believe all the negative reviews here on IMDb. They are not lying.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's best to view this movie with the proper expectations. It certainly
wasn't designed to be a realistic or historically accurate portrayal of
the times, but better serves as a mythological tale of human struggle
as experienced by a fictional tribe somewhere North of the Himalayan
mountains, and what they were able to learn from the interaction of
their leader D'hel while on his journey with other tribes to recapture
their people who were taken as slaves by a more advanced civilization.
Yes there are many inconsistencies with this film as it relates to time, place, and languages spoken. Even more amusing is the existence of jungle roaming, carnivorous ostriches (which never existed), along with sabre tooth tigers and wooly mammoths that had long been extinct. What is to be appreciated from this movie is the struggle of mankind against each other, including personal insecurities, overcome by co-operation of those who developed a vested interest to unite and vanquish a common enemy. In this respect, the movie should be compared with those challenges faced throughout history which continue to this day.
Some other embellishments include the protagonist and his modest crew crossing the Himalayas while keeping pace with "the demons with four legs" (Egyptians on horseback) who captured their villagers, including the cherished Evolet. The extreme distance of their journey by far exceeds the possible range covered these peoples, who though nomadic, usually never wandered more than a few hundred square miles from their origins. Despite harsh realities, we witness their grim meanderings across the Himalayas, through Indian jungles, across the Middle East, and lastly as they join forces with African tribes along the Nile, even while dragging their injured. A journey of this magnitude would not have been possible for another 5,000 years until Mesopotamians had domesticated horses in the first place.
However, considering the movie for its context rather than its content, 10,000 B.C. becomes an intriguing diversion, and a more realistic entertainment alternative than reality television.
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