Paul Cook 22/03/2008
Roland Emmerich, the director behind the alien invasion epic Independence Day brings us an all new $75 million sabre-tooth tiger fighting, mammoth-stomping action adventure. Despite its historical inaccuracies 10,000 BC is a good contender for biggest, dumbest movie of 2008 so far, competing fiercely with Rambo of course.
Let's get the good stuff out of the way first. Visually, the film is spectacular bar the odd horribly obvious green-screen background or two. The final scene is something to behold, giant mammoths traipsing up and down 'The Almighty's' pyramid, huge ships on the river behind, a shining gold pyramid-top being craned onto the gigantic construction and thousands of highly realistic, no doubt built by the CGI people behind the scenes. The acting on the whole is also impressive given the fact it's a relatively unknown cast, much like 300 without the giant, bellowing man. Instead the characters are humanised and relatable in 10,000 BC which works to a certain extent which makes this a little less “big, dumb blockbuster” than the director's previous films, but is this what we really want? The big blockbuster epic we're all used to is all about big, silly effects and stunts and without them something definitely feels amiss.
Unfortunately, the film is extremely repetitive and feels much like an hour long TV drama than a 2 hour long epic. Thin on the ground in terms of qualitative subject matter it makes up for it by repeatedly showing the film's two main protagonists in a series of montages crossing mountain tops and hills. The story is also horribly predictable, at each turn in the plot any regular Hollywood moviegoer will find themselves knowing what will happen next. The clima is also somewhat of an anti-climax in terms of how the narrative is resolved. Yes we get the huge aerial shot over the building of the pyramid and the dozens of woolly mammoth barging through several hundreds of enslavers, but besides this all we get is a typical, standard Hollywood ending in which the guy gets the girl and so on and so forth.
Disappointing from an Independence Day fan's perspective and failing to match the acting bravado of Will Smith and the awe-inspiring special effects of a city engulfed by a spaceship, Roland Emmerich newest Hollywood epic is only so by genre not by definition. The mammoths and the sabre-tooth tigers are worth going to see 10,000 BC for but don't expect an enlightening or even satisfying story and given the fact films like There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men are still showing at selected cinemas, there are far greater films to see for your money.