Movie Review 2008 #35: 10000 BC

I still have a couple of reviews to catch up on, but since I went to see this movie in the theater today, I decided to review it next.
10000 BC has no major stars save narration by Omar Sharif, and is directed by Roland Emmerich.

Creator of some SFish movies such as Stargate, Godzilla, Independence Day, and the Day after Tomorrow (as well as movies like the Patriot), Roland Emmerich hasn’t directed a movie since the Day after Tomorrow.
He returns to the director’s chair in 10000 BC, a movie which heavily throws back to movies like 1 million BC, Quest for Fire, Conan the Barbarian, The Scorpion King, and liberal borrowings from other films, including his own Stargate. The movie has characters with apostrophes in their names, invented language for the antagonists (the protagonists speak intelligible language), and mishmashed anthropology, history, and biomes.
The story revolves around D’leh, a hunter in a mountain valley tribe who hunt mammoths. The herds have become less frequent and reliable over the years, and the tribe’s shaman, Old Mother, has predicted change coming to the tribe, and danger.
After D’leh proving himself in a mammoth hunt and endearing himself to his woman,Evolet, who came to the trip while just a young girl, an attack by four legged demons (horsemen) set D’leh off on a quest to rescue the captured members of his tribe. Those captured members include, of course, the lovely Evolet.
And so D’leh and his companions go on an epic journey, having adventures, meeting allies, and dealing with fearsome creatures on their way to discovering the ultimate origin of the horsemen–a pyramid building civilization using slave and mammoth labor, and ruled over by a god-king. In the course of D’leh trying to free his tribesmen, he and his allies are faced with the forces of this civilization arrayed against them.
The events in this movie could not have taken place on the Earth that we know. D’leh and company deal with Mammoths, terror birds(!), a sabertooth tiger sequence straight out of Androcles and the Lion, and the civilization at the end suggests that the God King and the world he has built here is a descendant remnant of lost Atlantis. So from all of those perspectives, its a complete mess.
As pure fantasy fiction taking place on another world, once I decided this was not the Earth we knew, the movie was actually decent. I didn’t have high expectations but the movie managed to exceed those very low expectations. The CGI was okay, the acting (especially since it was all unknowns) was okay. The story was a simple and direct mythic one, straight out of the Hero with a Thousand Faces. Even with the plot holes and other problems, it managed to entertain me for a couple of hours.

One thought on “Movie Review 2008 #35: 10000 BC”

  1. Rent 1 million years BC. It has Rachel Welch in it, so that alone makes it 10^3 times better.

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