Monday, July 25, 2011

Review: 10,000 B.C.

Synopsis:A epic prehistoric tale, that follows a young mammoth hunter's journey through uncharted territory to secure the future of his tribe and save the woman he loves.

Review: "10,000 B.C." is a classic example of a film where all the budget was put into the cinematography and special effect, with little regard given to the script and acting. The results are an epic adventure tale, that is neither adventurous or epic.

This story of a young hunter who faces his predestined fate to lead his tribe, could have been a compelling and intense story of human history. But the script is so horribly flawed and the acting so bland, that there is nothing to emotionally connect the audience to the characters or the story. You simply don't really care about any of it.

I never bought the love story between the two lead characters. Their unemotive acting skills, hampered by a scripted romance that is so schmaltzy and unbelievable, that it isn't even worthy of being used as a dime store romance novel, much less a major budget motion picture, never brings about any sense of true emotion from the viewer. You not only don't believe these two people love each other, you don't even care enough to wonder why you feel that way. I'll admit I wasn't around back then to see how these people interacted with each other, but I can tell you it was probably nothing at all like this. And the way the girl survives to be with her man in the end, is so mind-numbingly unbelievable, it is more of an insult to the viewers intelligence, rather than the uplifting emotional moment the writers and director probably intended it to be.

Another problem with the film is all the historical inaccuracies. When you want to make a film that is based on the history of the human race on Earth, if you can't create a stirring tale of fiction with human history as the backdrop, you'd do well to try to keep as close to the facts as you can. I mean, while the ancient Egyptians did use slave labor to build their vast cities and monuments, I don't believe that Woolly Mammoths were there to help in that. If this movie was about some alien world, I might be able to overlook this kind of thing, but if you are going to use actual Earth history as your setting, either use it right or don't use it at all. When it can be said that "One Million Years B.C." is a more historically accurate film, you know something is seriously wrong with your film's script and research.

Of course, the biggest problem I personally had with the film was the extremely slow and plodding pace, as the characters spend lots of time just walking around. I could have taken mini-naps between the major scenes of the film and not felt lost when I awoke and started watching it again. We get it, alright? They are traveling great distances. You don't need to make the audience feel like they are on one themselves, as they watch the film. An adventure tale is supposed to be exciting, not boring.

The one place the film does get it right, though, is the cinematography. There is some brilliant and breathtaking camera work here, with some very gorgeous wide angle shots of the lands the characters travel through. It is the one place where the film truly shines. It is not, however, anywhere near enough to reverse the detriments in the script, acting and researching of the film to make the story even remotely enjoyable.

"10,000 B.C." could have been one of the great epic adventure stories of the the last decade, but being saddled with poorly emoting actors, an unbelievable soap opera romance, historical inaccuracies you could fly a jumbo jet through, and a pace so slow and tedious it would put a snail to sleep, the film instead becomes one of the biggest and most costly of viewing disappointments, perhaps of all time ("Waterworld" has nothing on this film, believe me)! Unless you have a bad case of insomnia, give this film a major pass.

Rating: 1 Star (out of 4)

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