For months now I have been excited to see 10,000 b.c. History. Action. Adventure. My type of film, really. Like any good movie fan I dutifully donned my coat, gathered two friends, threw the Jeep in to 4 wheel-drive, and braved the snowy weather to watch it on Friday night.
The verdict? It was decent. I liked it. I mean, it’s not 300 or Apocalypto, but not every movie can be that good. 10,000 b.c. borrowed the abs of 300 and the general story line from Apocalypto (members of the tribe are taken, lone warrior sets out to free his people) yet it threw in enough wooly mammoths and other extinct animals to set itself apart. I also felt that the narrator could have been better. Not really a sticking point but if your only job is to narrate a movie (and you are not acting in it) you better have a fantastic voice. This fella did not.
My favorite part of 10,000 b.c. had nothing to do with the substance of the movie at all. If you enjoy ancient history, as I do, then watching 10,000 b.c. can be a “Where’s Waldo?” of ancient civilizations. Let me demonstrate.
The movie begins with a Native American like tribe living in the “white mountains” (Himalayas). Bad people (modeled after the Mongol’s) come and take tribe members to use as slaves. Our hero (a white man) along with a few others (an Indian man and an Asian boy…all from the same tribe mind you) set out over the white mountains to rescue their people. After the mountains they end up in the rainforest (don’t even try stretching your mind on this geography…I’ll get to that in a moment) under constant attack from crazy giant-ostrich-dinosaurs(?).
Safely through the rainforest they find themselves in the African savannah. A close brush with a saber-tooth tiger leads our heroes to a Maasai village. They make friends and join forces with other tribes of the area, including the pygmies. To continue pursuing the bad guys (who have escaped down a Nile like river) our hero and his army must now cross the Sahara desert.
After arriving in Giza(?) we see the construction of the Egyptian Pyramids (which were not constructed until 3,000 b.c.) morphed with Aztec and Incan temples by millions of slaves and trained wooly mammoths (?) for the hard stuff. All of this construction is done to please the “almighty.” A god who’s people were “swallowed by the sea.” Finally, a reference to Atlantis!
The cultural potpourri is really quite ridiculous. I couldn’t help but giggle many points throughout the film. I mean, come on! It’s just silly the way they threw concepts, races, architecture, etc. together.
As for the geographic discrepancies I mentioned I would tackle earlier… I spent a good part of the film trying to orient myself on our fair planet. We started in the “white mountains” with attacking Mongol’s so I reckoned we were in Asia. Next, came the rainforest, which could have put us in India…except for the fact that next we entered the savannah of sub-Saharan Africa. Then we moseyed on up to Egypt.
I’m fine with the white-mountains and the rainforest. I’m even fine with the African savannah and Egypt. I am not fine with them mushed together as a geographic plausibility. I think I would have been less indignant and amused with the historical liberties taken if I would have been watching 10,000 b.c. on a Planet Similar to but Not Earth.
Now I feel bad for ragging on the film so much. It wasn’t really that bad. Go. Take your friends and family to a matinee. Be amused by the historical silliness and the groovy CGI beasts of years past. Feed the box-office monster. I did.