10,000 BC

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner12/03/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 109 mins

Preposterous prehistoric adventure with decent special effects that don't quite compensate for the atrocious script, the ridiculous production design, the badly paced direction or the dreadful acting.

What's it all about?
Contrary to popular opinion, this isn't a remake of the Racquel Welch classic (it's set 990,000 years later) but an entirely different prehistoric romp, in which young mammoth-hunting tribesman D'Leh (Steven Strait) sets off on a quest to rescue his blue-eyed bride, Evolet (Camilla Belle), when she's abducted by evil slave traders. Aided by his surrogate father (Cliff Curtis as TicTic), D'Leh befriends another tribe leader (Joel Virgel) and encounters terrifying giant bird-like creatures as well as a surprisingly friendly sabre-toothed tiger.

The Good
Directed by Roland Emmerich and narrated by Omar Sharif, the film has precisely two things in its favour: the mostly impressive digital effects (the mammoths and pyramids look great, the sabre-toothed tiger looks rubbish) and the stunning landscapes, although its increasingly hard to tell which are genuine shots of New Zealand and South Africa and which are CGI.

The Bad
Unfortunately, the effects and landscapes aren't enough to compensate for the atrocious script, which seems like it's been written by the lazy screenwriters from the latest series of Mitchell and Webb. It's clear that no-one involved in the film ever paid much attention at school as there are some inconsistencies here that would make any self-respecting historian weep.

As if the poor dialogue, the laughable costumes (the children look like L.A. kids who've been forced to be caveman extras in a school play) and the dismal acting weren't bad enough, the film is actually boring, thanks to badly paced direction and poorly conceived set pieces. Also, considering the prominence given to the sabre-toothed tiger in the publicity, the film really wastes one of its key assets, by having it only appear in two scenes and then not eat anyone.

Worth seeing?
In the right hands, 10,000 BC could have been an enjoyable action-adventure flick, but instead it's a badly written, poorly directed and surprisingly boring mess. Disappointing.

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10,000 BC
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Content updated: 22/02/2020 01:11

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