10,000 BC (2008) Movie Review

Roland Emmerich, the director of “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Independence Day”, takes on prehistoric man in “10,000 BC.” And yes, the result is anything but historically accurate, but are you telling me that you actually expected it to be? From the man who, as mentioned, gave us the Ice Age in New York City and saved all human kind by killing a whole fleet of aliens with a laptop virus? If that’s the case, then it’s not Roland Emmerich who should be apologizing for the superfluous nature of “10,000 BC”, it’s you for expecting too much.

Having said the above, “10,000 BC” is indeed laughable when it comes to historical accuracy. But then again, I never expected anything less, and indeed, a true-life movie about a prehistoric tribe hunting woolly mammoths would be kind of boring. And so, director and co-writer Roland Emmerich (with Harald Kloser) has instead given us a good old-fashion caveman movie, complete with expansive terrains to trespass, wacky dinosaur ostriches to battle, and evil empire-building Atlanteans to overcome. Those are hallmarks of a good time at the movies, folks, and anything more would just tarnish the experience.

The film’s star is one Steven Strait, who plays D’Leh, a member of a hunter-gatherer tribe living an idyllic existence. D’Leh’s biggest problems in life are trying to live down the stigma of being a coward (the result of his father’s wayward ways when he was a boy) and pining for the love of the tribe’s adopted blue-eyed cutie, Evolet (Camilla Belle). Alas, it was prophesized a long time ago that the appearance of Evolet would usher in a new, dark era for the tribe in the form of “four-legged demons”. Fortunately for the tribe, the prophecy also foretold that Evolet and her man would also lead them to salvation. A chicken and the egg situation, if you will.

Forget for one moment the incongruities of the film’s language system — or lack thereof — and the film’s expansive geography — I’m guessing that the characters eventually end up in Africa or Egypt or thereabouts — and “10,000 BC” is a pretty enjoyable little jaunt through what 10,000 BC used to be like. Well, kinda. Emmerich directs with a purpose, and Strait is well cast as Orlando Bloom-lite (which is saying something), and the film’s silly prophecy storytelling, while generic and clichéd, nevertheless makes for a fun action-adventure, with plenty of heroics and a huge, CGI-heavy finale battle that one has come to expect in such movies.

To be sure, there are many ways “10,000 BC” could have been improved upon, but really, what’s the point? If it was too realistic, or if it made just a little bit of sense, than it just wouldn’t be nearly as fun. That, in a nutshell, pretty much describes every movie Roland Emmerich has ever made in Hollywood. And really, we wouldn’t want it any other way.

Roland Emmerich (director) / Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser (screenplay)
CAST: Steven Strait … D’Leh
Camilla Belle … Evolet
Cliff Curtis … Tic’Tic
Joel Virgel … Nakudu
Affif Ben Badra … Warlord
Mo Zinal … Ka’Ren
Nathanael Baring … Baku