The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum

10,000 B.C. (2008) **


How long has it been since we’ve seen a good caveman movie?  Conan the Destroyer in ’84?  You’d think with all of today’s technology that modern filmmakers would eat up the chance at making a good old fashioned caveman flick.  This new movie by Roland Emmerich (you know the guy who did Independence Day) is the first caveman flick to come down the pike in years, but sadly it’s not very good.  It feels more like the producers saw the box office receipts for 300 and said, “Hey let’s make ourselves ANOTHER period action piece with a number in the title!  I know, we’ll call it 10,000 B.C.!  I betcha it’ll be 33.3 times better!”  It’s no Beastmaster, but it IS the best movie about ancient wooly mammoths biting the dust since The Bucket List. 


The story has this caveman who looks like Josh Hartnett only it’s not Josh Hartnett being named the leader of his tribe because he’s the only one who killed a bull wooly mammoth on the day of the “last hunt”.  The tribe names him as their new leader even though it kinda sucks for them since it means they’ll be eating cold wooly mammoth sandwiches for at least the next month or so.  It also means that he gets to name a sexy cavechick who looks like Lindsay Lohan only it isn’t Lindsay Lohan as his bride. 


But before he can consummate his marriage, a bunch of greasy Arabs swoop in and steal his woman and pillage his village.  Normally the bad guys in these kinds of movies RAPE and pillage the village, but since it’s one of those PG-13 deals, the womenfolk’s ta-ta’s are extremely off limits. 


He’s too much of a wimp to fight back, but he decides to go after the Arabs and rescue his woman, despite his cowardice.  So he treks through the mountains and into the jungles to find her, while along the way picking up about a hundred extras from Shaka Zulu for back-up.  He also gets to battle a couple of giant ostriches, vultures and even a sabretooth tiger to at least keep the audience from falling asleep through all the dull stuff. 


He tracks his woman to EGYPT (!?!) where this Michael Jackson impersonator wants her to build the pyramids, but since she’s got welts on her hand in the shape of a constellation, that means she’s “the chosen one”, so they gotta sacrifice her.  Luckily her boyfriend shows up in the nick of time to shove a lot of spears into a bunch of Arabs (again, it’s one of those PG-13 deals so there’s absolutely zero blood when somebody gets impaled) and save the day. 


This is one seriously confused movie.  I’m no history scholar or anything, but can somebody tell me when cave people stopped wearing fur pelts and started growing dreadlocks?  Emmerich’s idea of a caveman looks less like a Neanderthal and more like someone going to a Bob Marley concert.  Emmerich also seemed to have skipped a geography lesson or two when he has his hero go through snowcapped mountains, to a tropical rainforest to the Sahara desert in just a few days walk. 


Emmerich co-wrote this sucker so he was probably responsible for the idiotic narration and the gratuitous caveman speak.  (If I had a dollar for every time someone said “for many moons” it would’ve completely refunded my ticket price.)  He also cuts back and forth from the warrior’s quest to the village where a decrepit medicine woman feels the pain of the travelers.  This shit serves no purpose (at least until the very end) and if this whole subplot was cut, it could’ve easily saved us twenty minutes. 


But I will give credit where credit is due:  Emmerich knows how to film gigantic prehistoric animal attacks.  The encounter with the sabretooth is a bit abrupt, but the scene where the giant ostriches try to grab themselves a hot caveman lunch is one for the books.  In fact, I’d go so far to say that it’s the best giant ostrich attack ever filmed, so at least this movie has got that going for it. 


The effects for all the animals are superb.  For a second there, I thought wooly mammoths weren’t extinct, that sabretooth tigers WERE alive and well, and that maybe when I left the theater I should keep a sharp eye out for any carnivorous ostriches with an empty stomach.  Of course you’ll think of anything to pass the time while a bunch or articulate cavemen (I believe this is the first caveman movie on record where they all speak with English accents) blab on and on about “the last hunt”, “many moons” and “the star that does not move”.


If Emmerich was just content on making a full length version of When Prehistoric Animals Attack, it could’ve worked.  However, the movie is saddled with too much third rate Kull the Conqueror bull honky to be much use to anyone. 


Next time Roland, if you’re going to make a caveman movie MAKE A DAMN CAVEMAN MOVIE!  We don’t need a bunch of extras from Stargate, bit players from The Air Up There or some elderly windbag having conniptions every time something goes wrong.  Just cavemen vs. CGI beasts.  Got it?  Don’t make me tell you again.

Tags: action, t
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