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March 11, 2008

A mammoth disappointment

by Jon Kesten, Online Foreign Desk Editor
Expectations from the director of such films as "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow" suggest an equally innovative spectacle from Roland Emmerich in "10,000 B.C." D'Leh (Stephen Strait) is young man from a hunter gatherer tribe who embarks on a journey through uncharted territory to secure the future of his dying tribe and his blue eyed love, Evolet (Camilla Belle). During an age when woolly mammoths and saber tooth tigers roam our planet, the film has the exciting preface, proven director and a plot filled with potential to make an epic film.

Disappointment is all that can be said for this movie, which despite grand potential, failed to even establish a clear plot. Vast historical inaccuracies aside, Emmerich's seemingly improvised rant of a film portrays little merit, forces one to speculate if "B.C." actually stands for "Before Cinema."

10,000 B.C.

(released March 07, 2008) Chips Rating:
0 stars
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Humans and beasts collide in this horrible prehistoric-period film. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.
D'Leh's shamanistic and just post-Neanderthal tribe is going hungry in their isolated, snow-capped valley. Soon, their settlement is pillaged and the people partially enslaved by a marauding warlord and his army. D'Leh, fellow tribesman Tic-Tic (Cliff Curtis) and rival Ka'Ren (Mo Zinel) navigate across snowy mountains, through tropical jungles and a barren desert - all apparently in close proximity to each other, trailing the captured tribe. They encounter other villages hit by the marauders, the survivors of which soon join their growing army. The "many spears" then march to fight the marauders, who live in a complex civilization that contain Egyptian-style pyramids.

Films based on such specific, prehistoric periods in history generally show a few historical inaccuracies. "10,000 B.C.," however, went above and beyond any mere inaccuracies. For instance, the main characters all speak English, use iron (3500 B.C.), rope (4000 B.C.) and domesticated horses (3000 B.C.). Also depicted were sailboats (1000 B.C.) and textile-produced clothing (200 A.D.). Another major appeal that can be marked off the list of historically accurate is the "terror birds" straight out of "Jurassic Park" and the divine pyramids (3000 B.C.). The film would be more fit with a fictional intention similar to "Lord of the Rings" or even the "Star Wars" films.

Well, at least one can watch the movie in hopes of viewing stunning special effects manifest on the big screen. In fact, the best acting comes from the stampeding woolly mammoths. Unfortunately, the CGIs are not only inconsistent, but generally filthy. Similarly, several scenes are borrowed, nearly verbatim from blockbuster hits like "300", in that action scenes seem nearly identical, save the cavemen's dread-lock hairstyle. It is difficult to pinpoint the objective of the film after 109 minutes of watching the plot constantly helixes on already scattered ruins of a story.

Outwardly desperate to amuse, palpable attempts are made to evoke a laugh " going so far as to include fart and "kick-in-the-groin" jokes. These attempts are made also during the most somber of moments, which serve to remind us how soiled the film's direction is. "10,000 B.C." has so many detractions that it can easily be categorized as fiction. Even then, the film drastically disappoints to fulfill its illusion of an epic tale.

10,000 B.C. (109 minutes) is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence. It is now playing in theaters everywhere

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  • WHOA! on March 12, 2008 at 2:05 PM
    hahaha. this movie looks terrible. nice compistion jonathan.
  • lawl jon on March 16, 2008 at 10:39 PM
    was this movie so bad that you had to give it zero stars?
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