Movie Review: 10,000 B.C. (2008)

No doubt writers Harald Kloser and Roland Emmerich (who also directed) had grand plans for 10,000 B.C.. Spectacular visuals supporting a tall tale set in the ancient world point to a movie with epic aspirations along the lines of Apocalypto and Gladiator. Unfortunately, they didn’t do their “homework”, as the movie is littered with inconsistencies and general annoyances that keep the movie far from the company it wishes it keep.

The story itself, at its base, is basic love story between hunter D’Leh (Steven Strait) and prophet Evolet (Camilla Belle) of the Yagahl tribe. To win her hand he must earn the white spear (grants him the power of tribe chieftain) by killing a mammoth, which he does in a not so glorified fashion. But apparently our cavemen ancestors suffered from morality issues, because D’Leh turns in the spear vowing to earn it properly. And what a setup that turns out to be because shortly thereafter raiders sweep through his tribe’s camp taking with them able bodied men and women (including Evolet). So starts the epic journey across mountains, through deep rain forests and scorching deserts. Along the way he amasses warriors from other tribes determined to get their loved ones back too. This leads to a climax which for all intents and purposes has the makings of something special.

It isn’t though.

First, let me start run through a few of 10,000 B.C.‘s other shortcomings. The most notable is the lack of any historical accuracy which led to a big believability problem for me. I’m no historian, but:

  • Was I supposed to believe mammals and dinosaurs roamed the earth together?
  • Pyramids in 10,000 B.C.? I’m relatively sure man wasn’t building giant testaments to his greatness that far back.
  • I could be wrong, but were wild animals domesticated then? I thought domestication came much later.
  • I didn’t know cavemen had such perfect hygiene – clean teeth and shaven faces?

But let’s be clear, no one claimed the movie was a history lesson (me included), this problem was noticeable and compounded by the fact it wasn’t entertaining. 300 took a great many liberties too, but it was fun as hell to watch. This film has cheesy dialogue and unmemorable characters. When a great defining moment to instill strength and belief in his character presents itself, D’Leh simply says “I’m older than I look” when questioned as to why tribes warriors should follow him – where was the Braveheart bravado damnit? And back to the ending — never have I seen an opportunity so large missed. Instead of a battle akin to that in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, we’re given a very tired and run-of-the-mill fight that I’ve seen done better on hundreds of films.

But all this doesn’t subtract from the basis that people will be drawn to see 10,000 B.C. based solely on the visuals. Here, I cannot find fault with the movie. The landscapes are incredible to look at – majestic mountains, dense forests and sweeping deserts are all done with care. I was equally impressed with the pyramids in their various levels of construction. I especially thought it was interesting to see how the set creators imagined them built. As for the creatures inhibiting this prehistoric earth; the mammoths looked great but I felt the saber tooth tiger (known as “spear tooth”) could have been modeled and brought to life better, as well as have had a bigger part in the movie (show me an advertisement that didn’t put it at the forefront). I’m still confused by the ferocious ostrich-like dinosaurs – they didn’t look particularly lifelike and seemed like an afterthought to be used as filler for a slow portion of the flick.

So my final feeling on 10,000 B.C. is that it didn’t live up to my expectations. Not nearly. I expected a hardcore adventure film filled to the brim with crude and violent action, not a prehistoric love story. Had I better insight into what it was actually, I would have found a better love story to watch (remember Caveman?). Don’t let the fact that this is the hottest film on opening weekend fool you (no doubt it’ll make its money back and then some). Don’t be a lemming, it’s really not all it is cracked up to be.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
2 Star Rating: Bad


Movie Review: Doomsday (2008)
Movie Review: Witless Protection (2008)

The Critical Movie Critics

I'm an old, miserable fart set in his ways. Some of the things that bring a smile to my face are (in no particular order): Teenage back acne, the rain on my face, long walks on the beach and redneck women named Francis. Oh yeah, I like to watch and criticize movies.

'Movie Review: 10,000 B.C. (2008)' have 12 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 11, 2008 @ 7:01 am Hairy Pete

    Emmerich has enjoyed a successful ride with his grand productions, so he was a due a clunker. Guess this is it.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 11, 2008 @ 12:03 pm Etienne Villaneuve

    Le film “10.000 B.C.” Est le meilleur fantasie / fiction, les films que j’ai vus depuis des années.
    Les scènes sont belles. Les acteurs sont magnifiques. Le plus grand acteur était Steven Strait. Il était un héros dans la plus pure tradition des films. J’espère que tout le monde va voir “10.000 B.C.” Et aime ça! C’est le meilleur film de 2008!

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      March 17, 2008 @ 5:09 pm General Disdain

      @ Etienne Villaneuve

      I have no idea what you’ve said, but it sure looks pretty. :)

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 18, 2008 @ 7:33 pm Anton

    I just came back from seeing 10 000 and I feel like I have been robbed the money for my ticket and that of my gf. The historical inconsistancies and the worthless dialogues could be pardoned if the story were intriguing and the scenes full of spectacular action and brutal realism, which is what one would expect in a movie about prehistoric hunters. Apart from the initial hunt scene and the fight with the carnivorous birds, the scenes are lame, fights are like a B-movie from the 50s, and the story is so banal that already at half of the movie I had figured out the rest. Moreover, from the advertisement one would expect to see a lot of prehistoric animals, but you only see three kinds, the saber-tooth tiger appearing only for a couple minutes and as a tame animal. Really, people, don’t waste your time and your money!

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 20, 2008 @ 1:57 am Ojay

    I had low expectations when going to this movie and only went because my friends wanted to see it. I agree with you on just about everything in your review, but I thought it wasn’t that bad. Not good, not terrible, but okay enough to see at least once.

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    March 23, 2008 @ 8:25 am General Disdain

    The historical inconsistancies and the worthless dialogues could be pardoned if the story were intriguing and the scenes full of spectacular action and brutal realism, which is what one would expect in a movie about prehistoric hunters.

    That sentence pretty much captures it all.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 9, 2008 @ 9:30 pm Magda

    The movie’s title had me salivating over the possibilities…. then i saw it. The inconsistencies, the stop motion “me Tarzan you Jane” dialog, the crazy mammoths who for some odd reason behaved like domesticated elephants more than anything__more cgi here guys less San Francisco zoo-, the lack-lustre battle scenes, i have never felt like starting a public disturbance but, i felt we were all due a mass refund at the theater. i can’t even buy the dvd, or my kids will flunk history using some ridiculous historical tidbit they glean from the silly film.Even the Flintstones were more accurate.

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    April 18, 2008 @ 6:31 pm Omar

    piece of crap

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 27, 2008 @ 5:45 am iphones

    What I think this movie suffered from was the effects grandioseitis. I don’t know when or how someone decided that lots of CGI and stuff can make up for good smart dialogue and creative film making. When I think back, some of the best movies I’ve ever seen are the ones that were on some kind of budget, and couldn’t rely on flash.

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 29, 2008 @ 4:38 am detector

    yeah, I’m with iphones. This movie was weak in some of the same way that I thought Indiana Jones 4 was. Sometimes things that should be used to flavor and add spice to a film become the film, and then you lose the original intent of the film in the first place.

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 29, 2008 @ 5:07 pm General Disdain

    yeah, I’m with iphones.

    Of course you are. Our logs say you are the same person! I can’t imagine disagreeing with yourself, unless of course you are schizophrenic…

  11. The Critical Movie Critics

    August 24, 2010 @ 4:11 am the dark persian

    I felt that this could have been such a great film, but you are right there are so many inconsistencies, too many to expect the viewer to just ‘pretend’ it doesnt matter, I was very disappointed.

Privacy Policy | About Us

 | Log in

Advertisment ad adsense adlogger