Prehistoric "10,000 BC" a modern wonder

Thu Mar 6, 2008 11:52pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

10,000 BC

By Kirk Honeycutt

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The movie's title is "10,000 BC," but its characters and story line hark back to the first two decades of the last century, the era of D.W. Griffith. You have an outcast and an orphan, a boy who needs to become a man, a girl who needs rescuing, evil slave traders, noble savages and a revolt of the suffering masses.

What is new here, of course, is a state-of-the-art production in three countries plus CGI and other visual effects that place everything in a fictitious prehistoric world. Director Roland Emmerich and his cohorts pretty much make this up since 10,000 BC extends far beyond any archeological discoveries.

As one might expect, there are campy moments and far too much reliance on God-like interventions in the affairs of early man. Less expected is that "10,000 BC" works just fine as an action Western with handsome actors in striking costumes and a few computer-generated predators, which are giddy fun.

With strong marketing and high awareness, Warner Bros. should enjoy a strong opening weekend. The film might or might not reach the $100 million mark domestically, but international box office should be strong.

The story begins among a remote mountain tribe, who are white, speak English and hunt mammoths. Except that those woolly beasts are descending into their snowy valley with greater infrequency due to, yes, climate change.

A prophecy by its spiritual leader, Old Mother (Mona Hammond), lays out all three acts: Four-legged demons -- slave traders on horses -- will raid the village and capture many young people including the beautiful orphan girl Evolet (Camilla Belle), who caught the eye of young hunter D'Leh (Steven Strait) when she was a child.

His pursuit of her and her captors along with his mentor Tic Tic (Cliff Curtis) and the very young Baku (Nathanael Baring) will turn him into a warrior and galvanize other tribes to join in the quest to overthrow an evil civilization and religion that has enslaved so many people.   Continued...