A conventional mess

So many movies present the same type of stories, but many are able to show them to audiences in at least a semi-interesting way. Many conventions are used but are excused if the movie is enjoyable. “10,000 B.C.” was set up to be an epic picture of early humans struggling to survive a world of beasts and harsh conditions. While the “man struggling to save his people” convention may have been excusable, writer/director Roland Emmerich decided to use damn near every convention he could have, thus ruining everything he had.
D’Leh (Stephen Strait) lives amongst his people in the mountains, leading a seemingly happy life. A young girl, Evolet, is found in the mountains and is seen as a sign of the tribe’s destiny. D’Leh’s father leaves and lives the rest of his days out as the outcast with the “coward father.”

This brings the young girl and boy together, forming a long-lasting love.
Flashing to their adult lives, the wooly mammoths have arrived for what looks like the last time. Should that be true, D’leh’s people will run out of food and die off. But after the mammoth encounters, the “four legged devils” raid the town, enslaving most of the tribe-including Evolet. It is up to D’leh and a few of the remaining tribe members to head over the treacherous mountains and save the woman and their brothers.

If you have made it this far, you may be wondering: why does this movie sound so average? Your answer lies within the aforementioned convention issue. “10,000 B.C.” uses so many conventions that it seems Emmerich went through a list to make sure he nailed them all down. We will not give away the movie for you, but you have probably seen so many of the other elements before that it just does not need to be seen in this fashion.

The plot already has the unfortunate, fatherless character fighting for his love, but does it need the younger kid whose mother is killed and is seeking revenge? Or the hero’s self doubt? You can practically hear Don LaFontaine (that “voice” guy from movie trailers) explaining what is going on.

And the film seems far too modern for a period piece such as this. Perhaps the Old Mother character had dental training at mountain man school, with some hair stylist training thrown in. Most of the movie’s look came across far too clean, even when slaves are encountered.

There are some sequences that work well for the movie, but they don’t last too long. As soon as you start to get the slightest feeling of intensity, it all fades away.
So if you have some spare change lying around, or want to feel cheated, check out “10,000 B.C.” If you want something a little more worth your time, find a tiger and pretend it is saber-toothed, then fight it.

1 out of 4 stars