the fresh films reviews

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10,000 BC (2008)

Roland Emmerich
USA/New Zealand
10,000 BC
109 minutes
Roland Emmerich
Michael Wimar
Mark Gordon
Roland Emmerich
Harald Kloser

Cast includes:

D'Leh Steven Strait ½
Evolet Camilla Belle
Tic'Tic Cliff Curtis
Nakudu Joel Virgel
Warlord Ben Badra
Ka'Ren Mo Zainal
Baku Nathanael Baring
Narrator Omar Sharif



In his atmospheric disaster adventure The Day After Tomorrow, an otherwise quite focused Roland Emmerich got hung up with mushy sentimentalism in the form of small-scale stories of love and affection in otherwise large-scale tales. Not surprisingly, Emmerich steps into all his usual traps again, and in the prehistoric would-be epic 10,000 BC, they become more visible than ever. The efforts and importance of individuals are exaggerated at the expense of the collective. This error, which was prominent in the similarly inaccurate 300, is well known in legends and fairytales, but is out of fashion in modern historical films which should profit from the vast amount of science and knowledge available - both about history and about filmmaking.

Then again, 10,000 BC is not a historical film, it is an adventure movie. Unfortunately, the adventure is anything but subtle or engaging. The rating cannot justify the banal and dated characterizations and conflicts portrayed in this film. The narrative line is as insipid as any B-movie from the mid 20th century. Like most contemporary western hero-worship literature, the story has a close connection to the Bible, and through Emmerichs blurred 2008 eyes, this does not at all feel refreshing.

Emmerich's films have always had a cartoonic polish, but what is disappointing here is that the quality of the special effects are likewise. There is a perceptible partition between the human characters and the many prehistoric animals that are so important to the film in terms of suspense and historic feel. Like the story, these animals aren't brought back to life by 10,000 BC - they remain as dead as they have been for the last few thousands of years.

For anyone with a tad of scientific approach or interest, 10,000 BC will be more annoying than anything else. Emmerich copies and pastes animals, backdrops and artefacts as it suits him, and the historical quality control is feeble, to say the least. A better word would be random. To me, the main interest of a piece of fiction set thousands of years ago is to learn about ways of life and the correlation between man and nature. On the surface, Emmerich depicts both, but there is absolutely no depth, accuracy or science involved in neither. 10,000 BC is a film which offers clichés in storytelling and an array of anachronisms in the thematics. I don't care if my children watch heads being chopped off, as long as they are spared Emmerich's false teaching.

Copyright © 21.7.2008 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang