As the tribe readies themselves over the years to face the ‘demons’, D’Leh falls in love with Evolet. Just as they are about to be married, the ‘demons’ arrive and are revealed to be slavers from a faraway land. They capture Evolt and a number of the tribe and take them away. D’Leh, Tic’Tic, and others follow in hot pursuit. But along the way they must face prehistoric dangers the likes of which they’ve never seen.
“10,000 BC” is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and violence.
Roland Emmerich has crafted a story that’s basically a combination of “Apocalypto” and “Stargate.” It follows the “Apocalypto” formula of an advanced society stealing slaves and transporting them through the wilderness to an amazing pre-historic city. It follows the “Stargate” formula in that this advanced society has pyramids, it has a mysterious ruler who is hailed as a god, and it shows primitive characters running through the desert in revolt. If you liked either of those films, you may find yourself being a little more receptive to “10,000 BC” than other moviegoers.
One of the notable things about “10,000 BC” is its use of CGI extinct animals. We’re treated to scenes of hunters stalking a herd of wooly mammoths. (This scene is arguably the best of the film.) We see giant prehistoric turkeys killing hunters like the “Jurassic Park” raptors. We see a saber-toothed tiger facing down our hero. (Unfortunately, the tiger is the weakest of the CGI creatures.) Whenever these creatures appear on the screen, this film is at its most entertaining.
What Didn’t Work:
The story also has a lot of magical elements in it. At times the story seems reality based and all this magic business just seems like it’s in the character’s heads. Other times the film implies that there’s real magic going on with these prophecies, connection to animals, etc. I think “10,000 BC” would have been stronger if they simply eliminated the magical element.
Unfortunately, while all the actors look great in their respective roles, they don’t do much to make their characters unique or appealing. Steven Strait as D’Leh and Camilla Belle as Evolet both look beautiful as prehistoric hunters (with perfect teeth), but they’re given little else to do. They needed more humorous or character defining moments to make the audience bond with them more and care about them as they were put in jeopardy. And the few moments where they get very sentimental talking about stars and hearts and love, it kind of falls flat.
Finally, I can’t help but mention some audience reaction to this film. There was a batch of guys sitting behind me who were in their late teens or early twenties. Any time a character appeared in a bizarre costume or they said an odd tribal name, these guys would snicker and make snarky comments. Chalk it up to American cultural ignorance or whatever, but I bet you can expect this type of reaction in every theater in the US. It’s annoying.
The Bottom Line: