By Tyler Gilliam
The director of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, Roland Emmerich, has brought another epic to the big screen. 10,000 B.C. is probably a little more fairy tale than epic, though. Narrated by Omar Sharif (Funny Girl, Lawrence of Arabia), the film really takes on a bedtime story feel. Once upon a time lived the Yagahl Tribe. These people apparently lived on the great mountains (wherever they are) some 12,000 years ago. An old woman, called Old Mother, was the tribe’s spiritual leader. When a newly-orphaned, blue-eyed girl from a neighboring tribe joined them, Old Mother prophesied the coming demise of her people. The old woman sees a last great hunt and declares the one who kills the mammoth will become the new leader and the blue-eyed one, named Evolet, will be his woman.
The director wastes no time introducing the love story between the blue-eyed girl and the “great warrior” to come. We’re introduced to a young Yagahl boy, D’Leh, whose father left the tribe earlier in the film. The boy and Evolet share their mutual loneliness, and come to lean on each other for companionship.
The two fall in love. Cut to narration. Then, boom, the kids are all grown up. D’Leh, played by Steven Strait (The Covenant) is still an outsider befriended only by Evolet (Camilla Belle, When A Stranger Calls) and the tribe’s hunter, Tic’Tic (Cliff Curtis, Live Free Or Die Hard).
D’Leh single-handedly kills the mammoth during the hunt. His kill comes purely by chance, so he does not secure his position as leader, but that will come soon enough.
Horse-riding raiders invade the Yagahl within days of the mammoth hunt. The raiders- dressed in real clothing instead of loincloths-slash and burn the village, abducting nearly every Yagahl, including the beautiful Evolet, who happened to be the only attractive woman on Earth in 10,000 B.C. D’Leh, along with Tic’Tic, sets out after the others.
They trudge through a bamboo forest where they are attacked by giant man-eating dodo birds. They were like big evil chickens. Then they head into the desert, but not before encountering a saber-toothed cat. D’Leh frees the beast from a trap. Great idea, right? Then he said the greatest line ever. “If I set you free, promise not to eat me.”
They make it out and recruit an army of friends to go overthrow the Egyptians, who turned out to be the ones destroying their villages and taking their people as slaves.
All geography aside, several things in this movie were comically out of reach. Apparently, 12,000 years ago they didn’t make waterproof eyeliner, because poor Evolet cried hers all the way down her face. Most of the men managed to have nicely groomed goatees and perfect teeth. And everyone (men, women, children, even the mammoths) had dreadlocks. They’re fashionable and practical.
And, of course, our hero and his tribe speak English. They sounded like British cavemen, but the other people spoke gibberish or ungabunga, maybe Klingon.
Overall, 10,000 B.C. was a good looking and entertaining film and the CGI creatures looked realistic, often more than the environments. It’s a fun movie, but if you’re looking for a serious prehistoric flick try Apocalypto. And if you’re looking for a real yabba dabba doo time, just watch The Flintstones.