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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 2, 2008
Film review
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10,000 B.C.
April 2, 2008 By Witold Żygulski   
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Stargate (1994) was the high point of Roland Emmerich's career as a sci-fi director. The German filmmaker's latest effort 10,000 B.C. appears to be a cut and paste job from that earlier film. Even at this early stage, 10,000 B.C. is going to take some beating as the dumbest movie of the year. The storyline is so inane that it is an insult to the intelligence of the audience-unless they happen to be kids. But that has not stopped 10,000 B.C from storming to the top of the box office. Emmerich has pulled off a similar feat before. His films The Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla and Independence Day also proved commercial hits, despite being panned by critics as bilge.

His latest effort follows the fortunes of the Yagahl, a nomadic tribe cut off from civilization. They spend their time roaming around Europe hunting mammoths, which they curiously mispronounce "mannats." One of their number, young hunter D'Leh (Steven Strait-The Convenant), loses his beloved Evolet (Camilla Belle-The Ballad of Jack and Rose) when she is abducted by brutal headhunters. D'Leh sets out to rescue her in the company of a happy band led by the aged (read fortysomething) and experienced warrior Tic-Tic (Cliff Curtis-Collateral Damage, The Fountain).

Our intrepid hero braves mountain passes, deserts and jungles, fends off ostrich-like man-eaters and a saber-toothed tiger, and chases sailboats on what could be the Nile before engaging in the final battle. This takes place in some Egyptian megalopolis built by the worshippers of an unidentified deity who gives every appearance of having come from outer space. This last scene recalls Stargate. The evil priests, possibly of extraterrestrial origin, are there. The storming of the pyramidal temple is there. Only Kurt Russell and the U.S. army could not make it this time. The scene showing a handful of brave warriors taking on an overwhelmingly superior foe could have been lifted straight from Stargate except that film, for all its fantasy, pays at least some attention to logical consistency. What follows is about as credible as the fact that tribal folk living millennia ago have teeth that would be the envy of any 21st-century devotee of cosmetic dentistry.

10,000 B.C. boasts a seemingly never-ending list of silly implausibilities. The only positives are the special effects, Ueli Steiger's (Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow) stunning cinematography and Harald Kloser (Alien vs. Predator) and Thomas Wander's (Marlene) hummable score. But none of these can justify anyone over 12 years old spending 110 minutes in the theater.
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