During the 10,000 B.C. panel at WonderCon a couple of weekends ago, an audience member asked lead actor Steven Strait whether he had to do any research to prepare for his role. Strait replied, “Not really, but…”
It’s in English, but it’s accented English, so we had to get comfortable with this dialect, uh, that’s a mix of, you know, standard English and a little bit of Arabic…
Wait a tick. Does Steven Strait know that Germanic peoples didn’t start speaking English until the 5th century A.D.? And that speaking English in a funny, caveman-like accent while other ethnic groups in the film speak their natural dialects presents a comically-distracting chronal anomaly?
At the time, I didn’t know how much of this lame-brained answer to chalk up to the actor’s vapidity, and how much to credit to the movie’s natural stupidity.
The accented one.
Well, tonight I got my answer: you’d be challenged to recall another film as mindless as 10,000 B.C. since… well, since writer/director Roland Emmerich’s last movie, The Day After Tomorrow.
Here’s the scoop: Bands of evil1 Egyptians sweep through Africa and Europe(?) on horseback, raiding villages to gather more slaves to construct their fancy pyramids. The lovely girlfriend–let’s call her “She of the Unnaturally Perfect Eyebrows and Teeth”–of our (accented) hero is among the captured when Egyptians raid their village of Dirty-Dreadlocked People. So our hero takes up his spear to chase the slave-drivers across snowy mountains, thick jungles, and vast deserts… all the way back to the pyramids.
Camilla Belle. The loveliest of the Dirty-Dreadlock Tribe.
Along the way, he gathers himself a tidy little army comprised of warriors from many other tribes, including the Wicker People, the People of Tall Grass Hats, the Palm-Frond-Mask People, and the Little-Blond-Beanie People. How does he convince him to join his cause?
Well, what he lacks in charisma (or dimensions) he makes up with a supernatural ability to charm CGI sabertooth tigers And that ability–as you well know–is the universally-accepted trait of a predestined leader.
Skip to the end, and the good guys win. The hero gets girl, girl looks hot, Egyptians suck, yadda yadda yadda. The end.
Oh, and there’s a “prophecy” attempting to string everything together, but it has the consistency of a bowel movement after a serving of rotten shrimp. So. There’s that.
Avoid this man’s movies. Unless you hate yourself.
In the pantheon of Emmerich’s work, 10,000 B.C. isn’t quite as painfully illogical as The Day After Tomorrow, doesn’t quite have the same hollow, false bravado of The Patriot, and lacks the action of Godzilla, another film otherwise without merit.
In other words, as far as really stupid movies go, 10,000 B.C. stands out as among the most-forgettable. Don’t waste your time. Even on DVD.