10,000 Clichés

by Ian T. McFarland on March 7, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: 10,000 B.C.
  • IMDB: link


I’ve given all-around awesome German Roland Emmerich credit before for making kick ass blockbusters like, as the zillions of ads this weekend say, Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow; but his newest mega-budget effort 10,000 B.C. is proof that the guy isn’t infallible.  His scripts have left something (a lot of something) to be desire; but he can usually make up for it with some expert action directing.  So what happens when the he’s off his game?

You know how it goes.  Your father ditches your pre-historic village one night, and the rest of the tribe treats you like shit for it.  Sucks, right?  Well, so it goes for our hero, the eloquently named D’Leh (Steven Strait).  He does finally catch a break when he wins the woman of his dreams (Camilla Belle) by killing an animal, but then these asshole Mongol-Viking hybrids come along and all like kidnap her and most of the village.

So D’Leh, the courageous ripped caveman he is, embarks on a journey with his replacement father figure Tic’Tic (Cliff Curtis) and the hilarious youngster comic relief character Ka’Ren (Mo Zinal), who isn’t so much hilariously comical as much as he is token.  On the way, they traverse mountains, jungles, deserts and a second act completely devoid of any character development.  But as this ragged group of good guys meet new tribes of primitive humans, they take in the armies of other tribes, forming a small militia out to get those kidnapping sonsabitches.

That might sound like an over-used story, but the movie is set apart by it’s . . . uh . . . crap.  Okay, it’s not to say that this movie is absolutely devoid of anything interesting, but there isn’t a lot to this forgettable entry into the action/adventure genre.  But here are some things that are cool:

– Sabertooth Tigers

– Wooly Mammoths

– Dreadlocks

But that’s not that long of a list, and you can find all of that (plus giant robots) in Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.  Okay, maybe it’s unfair to seriously compare a period adventure film budgeted at three quarters of $100 million to an afternoon Fox Kids show from the 90s, but there seriously is not a lot to 10,000 B.C.  The CG is pretty decent and there are a few action scenes that make for a good time, but there’s little drama in the conflict, and it’s thusly not all that compelling of a film.  Emmerich is a good enough action filmmaker to keep the flick entertaining enough to keep you from leaving your seat – but he doesn’t keep you glued to it.

By the end,  it’s reminiscent of a half-assed action movie from the 80s.  Very much in the same vein as the Conan movies, it’s little more than a celebration of the wise-beyond-his-years warrior, along with his muscles and his woman’s body.  And even though it can be fun today, there’s not a lot of shelf life for this one – without any moments that are sure to stick to your long-term memory, this one is destined for Wal-Mart’s $5.50 bins.

It’s a fun movie that’s never hard to sit through, it just never gives you much of a reason to sit through it.  It’s not a movie that I would try to dissuade someone from seeing; but I’m not going to try to persuade anyone to buy a ticket either.  If you’re a big action fan, there should be enough here to tide you over until May comes along; but if your apathetic towards the genre, there’s no reason you need to see this one.

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