10,000 B.C. Movie Review

Sunday, March 9, 2008

10,000 B.C. Movie Review

10000 BC10,000 B.C.: Adventure. Starring Steven Strait, Camilla Belle and Cliff Curtis. Directed by Roland Emmerich. (PG-13. 109 minutes.)

Say what you want about living 10,000 years before the birth of Jesus - the universal health care was pretty great.

That assumption is based on the obviously superior dental coverage in "10,000 B.C.," which, despite taking place a full 11,905 years before the invention of novocaine, features entire tribes of men and women with teeth so white and straight they could be selling real estate in Walnut Creek.

Yes, that was a cheap shot, but see if you're not taking a few yourself after sitting through "10,000 B.C.," a film that somehow makes the beginning of the Mesolithic period look as dreamy and romantic as Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet's voyage on the Titanic. While the movie is completely ridiculous, at least it's fun to think of all the high school students who are going to mistake this movie for an accurate historical record and get F's on their next pop quiz.

The best thing that can be said for "10,000 B.C." is that it doesn't skimp on the spectacle. It features so many stampeding woolly mammoths that you'll wonder how they, and not the humans, became extinct. Even though you've never heard of most of the actors in this film, there was a serious cash outlay to make the prehistoric pachyderms look awesome. The movie also shows with great detail how the Egyptians built the pyramids, which actually happened about 7,500 years after the setting of this film. Who's counting when love is in the air?

The movie starts small, opening somewhere in the frozen North, where a small band of prehistoric men appears to be enjoying life after a recent visit from the "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" clan. Seriously, you have never seen a group of people in a movie with more well-tweezed eyebrows than these mammoth hunters in "10,000 B.C." - and that includes "Steel Magnolias." After the standard voice-over about a prophecy and a great journey that's about to come, we meet D'Leh (Steven Strait) and Evolet (Camilla Belle), who, like almost everyone else in the movie, look like Michael Franti.

Evolet and the rest of her tribe are taken as slaves, which sets D'Leh on an adventure to get her back. From there the story is a weird mix of "Braveheart," "The Jungle Book" and "Against All Odds," as D'Leh and his friends gather together groups of random tribesmen - dressed so flamboyantly and distinctively that you'll expect the Baseball Furies from "The Warriors" to show up next - and try to free their people.

One thing that "10,000 B.C." isn't is a drag. The film was directed and co-written by Roland Emmerich, who made "Independence Day" and "The Day After Tomorrow," which guarantees that it will at least be interesting and kind of funny - perhaps intentionally so. Can anyone who writes a movie that features a kindly saber-toothed tiger possibly be going for anything other than laughs?

The dialogue is also a source of frequent entertainment. Most of the actors speak in a manner consistent with an 11th-grade reading level, except they don't have words for things like "men on horseback." ("What happened to your people?" one tribesman asks another. "They were killed - by four-legged demons!") Another tribe is bilingual, yet the members still haven't found a better name for the aforementioned tiger than "spear-tooth."

Belle is a virtual nonentity in the film, with any attempts at acting overshadowed by a brow that looks as if it was waxed between each take. And Strait is fine for this material, but he's always seemed more destined for television, not leading roles in films. No change here.

The rest of the members of the cast play their roles appropriately over the top - it can't be easy to keep a straight face when there are 8-inch-long tiger fangs hanging from your ears - although no one is particularly memorable. Warner Bros. really should have spent an extra million dollars to get Ben Kingsley on the set for a few days.

-- Advisory: This film contains intense action and mammoth-related violence, although even that gets screwed up in the end. There must be 300 woolly mammoths in this movie, and not one good full-frontal trampling.

Source : SFGate.com

See also...

Jumper Movie Review

ATOzTOA : Latest Headlines


Post a Comment