Film Reviews

10,000 B.C.

By • Mar 16th, 2008 •

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I cheered for the villains who were building a colossal civilization.

Yes, its 10,000 B.C. but Evolet (Camilla Belle) has arched eyebrows, fake eyelashes, and breast implants. So much for authenticity. Since this is not a documentary or National Geographic Channel program, let’s proceed with the tale of tribal raids and prehistoric love.

D’Leh (Steven Strait) is an outcast due to his father abandoning him and his mother to a life of straw and scraps of raw meat. If D’Leh wants honor and a wife, he must kill a mammoth beast. He can then claim the spear of a warrior and take young Evolet as his own. Their village is made up of a bunch of straw huts and they barely get by. They have to rely on Old Woman (Mona Hammond), the oldest woman in the village, for foaming-at-the-mouth trance guidance.

A band of horse riding demon-men raid D’Leh’s village and enslave most of the able men and women. They burn the village. One of the warlords (Affif Ben Badra) immediately takes a liking to blue-eyed Evolet. He falls in love with her! These evil warlords are not on foot but on top of strange creatures, they are dressed for the freezing weather, and have weapons!

The root-eating villagers are not smart enough to figure out they had been rescued.

When I was in Mali, West Africa I spent some time with the Tuareg. The Tuareg people are nomadic people of the Sahara desert, mostly in the northern reaches of Mali near Timbuktu and Kidal. The Tuareg are often referred to as Blue Men of the Desert and still practice slavery. Anti-slavery activists allege that anywhere between 43,000 to 800,000 people live in bondage in Niger, mostly among the Tuareg and Arab communities. Slavery is an age-old custom in parts of Africa, practiced by several of its ethnic groups.

Today, in Timbuktu, slavery is a fact of life. I was told people often go into the desert and offer themselves for servitude, choosing slavery over starvation.

Not so for D’Leh’s tribe.

D’Leh, hiding out during the raid, gathers up some of the other men including quasi-leader/mentor Tic’Tic (Cliff Curtis), specifically to get his girlfriend back.

D’Leh and his small posse of men have to travel on foot through lousy weather, difficult terrain and hungry beasts. In a hilarious scene reminiscent of Daniel in the lion’s den, a saber-tooth tiger-cat remembers D’Leh freed him from a trap and doesn’t eat him! The other natives are thunderstruck and, thinking D’Leh is a Superior Being, follow him to fight the warlords.

Considering this herd of tribesmen are not wearing clothes, you’d think finding a bustling civilization would be a welcomed event.

Remember when Maximus and the other prisoner-gladiators first caught sight of the Coliseum? They were awestruck.

D’Leh’s maundering enemies need slaves to build their empire just like…oh, I forgot, the pharaohs didn’t use slave labor to build their monuments – it was the late summer-early autumn months, during the annual flooding of the fields, and local farmers had nothing else to do. Sort of like FDR’s New Deal “busy work” program, the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The warlords are raiding villages to satisfy the building plans of some veil-wearing transvestite ruler. D’Leh slips into the city and in Spartacus fashion, liberates all the slaves. They destroy the city.

I do not have any idea what Roland Emmerich was thinking when he embarked on this project. Was he thinking animated, Saturday morning TV series? Halloween costumes revenue? Were there animal skin costumes lying around he got at cost? Did he have one more film on his contract?

The CGI mammoth stampede and the warlord’s Atlantis civilization were spectacular, but the story was weak, dull, and underwritten. With only the warlords having interesting personalities, why didn’t we spend some time watching Evolet work some “Jezebel Magic” on her lovesick warlord?

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One Response »

  1. I completely agree about the Warlords having more interesting personality’s and cheered them on too…lol!
    I also would have liked to see more of Evolet and the Horsemen myself.
    If you ask me Ben Badra got the shit end of the stick when he should have gotten the empire after the transvestite was killed plus Evolet. Poor guy, was he really that bad?
    Well Maybe. But he was pretty kind to her…ok accept the whipping thing, that wasn’t nice.
    Anyway good review!

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