It's possible that in 10,000 B.C. there was once a caveman (Steven Strait) in love with a blue-eyed cavewoman (Camilla Belle).
It's possible that some other tribe of men from a far-off land stormed into the cave people's camp and kidnapped that woman.
And it's possible that the caveman then walked across the Earth in pursuit of his woman, fulfilling his destiny to be a heroic warrior in the process.
And I suppose, too, that it's possible these oppressive foreigners were building what look suspiciously like Egyptian pyramids.
I'm not a history expert. I haven't studied the prehistoric human world. So all of that, I suppose, is possible.
But regardless of how possible "10,000 B.C." seemed before watching, it now seems ludicrous. That's what happens when a movie comes across like a daytime soap opera set in ancient times.
From the very beginning, director Roland Emmerich chooses to focus on the characters rather than the setting. Normally, that is exactly what filmmakers strive for. Unfortunately, when there are saber-toothed tigers and wooly mammoths roaming around, the boring love stories of cave folk lose their appeal. There's a reason the people who put together the trailers for "10,000 B.C." used plenty of footage of both the tiger and the mammoths. They're cool! That's what people pay $10 to see.
Instead, "10,000 B.C." is heavily narrated and dialogue heavy. Much of the dialogue is meant to be dark and brooding, but the script is too silly for this to work. The numerous scenes featuring two characters quietly talking are orchestrated just like every single scene in a "Days of Our Lives" episode. Character A asks a question; Character B thinks about the answer, moves within the frame to be in front of the camera. Character B answers slowly, dramatically, and so on. It gets old quickly, especially because these scenes don't feature saber-toothed tigers.
During these dialogue exchanges, I found myself waiting impatiently for the next encounter with some prehistoric creature.
I waited a lot.
Forgetting for the moment that the entire strategy of "10,000 B.C." (focusing on the characters instead of the setting) is shoddy, the story it so painstakingly tells is absurd. I'm an easy guy to rope in, and I'll buy into a lot, but I just couldn't do it.
The wise-old medicine woman? It's been done. Here it's just over done. I get it! There's an old woman looking over our hero's journey! Enough with the cuts to her sitting in her tent as his quest progresses! Enough with the narration!
Belle? Pretty girl. Good actress. Nevertheless, she looks completely out of place. I realize she's supposed to be striking (having blue eyes and all), but every time she's on camera all I could think was, "Wow, she looks like she's on the wrong set."
Finally, there's the long walk our hero and his constantly growing army take across the mountains and desert. I understand things were different back in 10,000 B.C., but is it reasonable to have the hero's army literally step from snowy mountains into exotic rain forest? I think not.
Maybe I'm just bitter, because "10,000 B.C." turned out to be exactly what I worried it would be (check out my blog for proof): another epic battle flick. I was hoping for a special-effects packed film that explored the world of 10,000 B.C.
There are only small tastes of those things, however. For the most part, "10,000 B.C." plods along, insisting it's a love story.
The problem with that is it's a bad love story. Call it the worst of both worlds.
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