10,000 B.C.


On leaving the cinema one might be tempted to say, “There’s two hours of my life I’ll never get back”, but that would be unfair because the film is only 109 minutes long. Also it’s not that bad, as long as you’re aware of some issues that aren’t mentioned by the film’s classification.

You see, the film is about a caveman, D’leh (Steven Strait), trying to rescue his girlfriend, Evolet (Camilla Belle), from some horse-riding slave traders and then later from the Egyptians building their pyramids. That sentence reveals the first warning for the movie. It’s historically inaccurate. That might not bother you, but even if it does, you’ll become numb after the first half dozen slaps to the face. I say slaps because it looks like it is trying to be realistic, and then bam! there’s some ironworking or boats. Just try to ignore it and enjoy the film.

The second thing you should know is that the film is directed and written by Roland Emmerich, who previously made Independence Day, Godzilla, and the Stargate film. So that should indicate the level of dialogue and plot in this film. If you like your films with fancy dialogue and plots that make sense, then you might not like this film.

The third issue,1 is the use of prophecies. Everyone has a prophecy about the future in this film and seem quite ready to let the inexperienced main character lead the assembled army on the basis that he is the one in the prophecy.

This film feels like it was written around a few key action scenes that the director wanted and the rest was squeezed into place. He wanted a scene in with mammoths in the snow, one in the jungle with a sabre tooth tiger, and a big fight near a pyramid. It’s made the film clunky and the scene changes awkward. Keep an eye out for the scene when the main character walks from a snow covered mountain into a steaming jungle. I think one character says “Hey, we’re in a jungle” and that’s the only acknowledgement of this bizarre switch. Linking the scenes together is why we’ve got these anachronisms, the bad plotting and dialogue and liberal use of prophecies.

Things to look forward to in the film are the special effects, and Omar Sharif’s narration. The mammoths and the sabre tooth tiger are quite convincing. It’s a shame they didn’t get more screen time. Omar lends some much needed gravitas to this film and is the only thing epic about it. He’s almost as good as James Earl Jones in this respect. It’s just a pity that the rest of the film is a light weight shambles.

  1. This might be an issue that only bothers me so bear with me.

3 Responses to “10,000 B.C.”

  1. That film did look pretty average. Glad to see my movie radar isn’t playing up.

    Annoyingly, I’ll now have to review one of these films in order to knock 10,000 BC off from its perch.

  2. The top spot on our films page has never been a great film. Previous title holders include Blade Trinity and Black Sheep.

  3. Average is an overstatement. We really should have taken the subtle clue that the door was locked and the staff ignored us smirklingly…

    In retrospect it more and more feels like the game civilization [1]. You start off as a dumbwit cavemen and work your way up. First Horseback Riding, Map Making and Astronomy. This is followed by Mysticism, Ceremonial Burial of blinded servants, more Astronomy, then Masonry, Pyramids, and so on. The only downside is why is he going back to cold caveman lifestyle?

    [1] Thanks Andy, for the concept during the sudden mountain and jungle tile changes.