Roland Emmerich has somehow forged a career making a particular type of movie. They’re heavy on special effects and light on story. For the most part, his movies range from silly to absolutely ludicrous. His latest movie, 10,000 B.C. marks an all-time low for Emmerich in not only the reality stakes, but the quality stakes too. It’s a strange film to watch because, while it’s absolutely appalling, it’s laughably stupid too, so you will find yourself in hysterics during the film.
The implausibility begins, a little over 12,008 years ago in some unnamed land. A tribe of mammoth hunters are facing tough times. The mammoths they rely on for food have become scarce and times are tough. However, not all is lost as the resident loon reveals a prophecy that tells of a warrior and his blue-eyed woman will lead their people to a new age. Years later and the kid is grown up and goes on his mammoth hunt. Through a remarkable amount of luck, he fells a mammoth and becomes the bearer of the white spear, an impractical ceremonial weapon that makes the bearer the leader of the tribe. But D’Leh cant handle the pressure and packs the leadership in. The tribe is attacked by another tribe and Evolet, the blue-eye girl and some other tribesmen are carried off. And so D’Leh and some of his fellow villagers head off to get their people back.
Okay, I know it’s a film that is wrought with historical inaccuracies. And many films are like this. And things like historical inaccuracies never really bother me. Hell, even dodgy special effects can be forgiven if the story is strong. What is a real issue though, is plausibility. And plausibility is completely thrown out the window in 10,000 B.C. It’s so implausible that at times I was struggling to contain my guffaws of laughter. At one point, the main characters cross from a frozen tundra to a tropical jungle and then to a desert in a matter of days. The landscape changes dramatically, giving the impression that we’re witnessing months of travel only to have one of the characters proclaim ‘we’ve been walking for days!’ Characters are mortally wounded only to heal overnight and be back bounding across the plains the very next day. It’s moments like these that expose the film’s ludicrous script.
In another particularly ridiculous moment, the main character shows a ridiculously amount of stupidity by freeing the sabre-toothed tiger from the film Ice Age from certain death, only to have the tiger take-off without attacking him and even turning up later on to save D’Leh from something that wasn’t assured death and then disappear again for no reason. It’s just another symptom of the problems with 10,000B.C. Nothing makes any sense. Steve Strait plays D’Leh, the ‘world’s first hero,’ and the main character in the film. His problem is he is completely devoid of any charisma or personality. At one point, he gives a speech to a number of different tribes to unite them as a force to take on the bad guys. The speech is laughably devoid of anything resembling inspiration, and the twenty or thirty men he gives the speech to are anything more than a rabble of trouble makers. Braveheart, this is not.
D’Leh’s woman, Evolet, played by Camilla Belle makes no impact. And Cliff Curtis, who deserves better, is inconsequential as tribal leader Tic’Tic. Although this character does seem to have Wolverine-like healing powers, at the point of death at one point and fully healed the following day. I know the X-Men films say Wolverine’s age is indeterminable, but I doubt he’s over 12,000 years old! The main bad guy is a stereotypical evil doer at one point, only to expose himself as a physically weak man obsessed with getting a sniff of female anatomy at another. In fact, the only reason he seems to have achieved his status as the leader of the baddies is that he has an electronically-enhanced voice. It’s baffling to understand why he has this Darth Vader-like vocal enhancement other than laziness on the part of the script writers.
In fact, the laziness of the writing is apparent throughout the entire film. Gaping plot holes are glossed over and ignored in a shocking display of disregard for the audience’s intelligence. But then this kind of thing is prevalent in all of Emmerich’s films. From the Apple-computer interface with alien technology in the reprehensibly jingoistic Independence Day to the completely implausible ice storm in The Day After Tomorrow, Emmerich’s films are wrought with plot holes that take the piss out the audience. 10,000 B.C. continues this trend, but ups the ante to the nth degree. I find it hard to comprehend how the final cut was viewed by anyone involved and they didn’t balk at what they were witnessing. This film is astonishingly bad. It’ll be hard to find a film in 2008 that will be worse. The only reason I’m even giving this film a 1 is that no film deserves a 0. It’s a complete work and some people did put some effort into it. Otherwise, this is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.
10,000 B.C.? 10,000 B.S.