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10,000 BC

SYNOPSIS:
In a remote, prehistoric mountain tribe, the young mammoth hunter, D'Leh (Steven Strait), has found his heart's passion - the beautiful Evolet (Camilla Belle). When a band of mysterious warlords raid his village and kidnap Evolet, D'Leh is forced to lead a small group of hunters to pursue the warlords to the end of the world to save her. The unlikely band of warriors must battle saber-tooth tigers and other predators and, at their heroic journey's end, they uncover a Lost Civilization. Their ultimate fate lies in an empire beyond imagination, where great pyramids reach into the skies. Here they will take their stand against a powerful god-like ruler who has brutally enslaved their people.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
The appeal of a movie set in pre-historic times comes from the exotic possibilities of extraordinary animals, a wild, untamed world and primitive man on the road to eventual civilisation. Some of these elements are found in Roland Emmerich's extended adventure movie, and they are impressive. The mammoths, the savage, beaked jungle beasts and the giant sabre tooth tiger all make splendid appearances. The spectacular landscapes of desert, mountain, river and jungle also deliver the images we are expecting. It's the humans who let us down. They're just like us.

Pardon the politically incorrect note, but it seems women were just as much the cause of trouble between men 10,000 years ago as they can be today. Evolet (Camilla Belle) is the blue eyed beauty who triggers the macho conflict within the tribe and then the chase to save her when she's kidnapped by nasty foreigners. D'Leh (Steven Strait) is a determined hero, although he does have a bit of baggage to lug around in the form of guilt about his father, who left the tribe many years before - to save himself, so the story goes. It takes a while for him to learn the truth and in the meantime he has to survive vicious strangers on 'four legged demons' (horses) and eventually lead his people to freedom.

All of these story elements sound familiar because they are: often derivative, the story and characters seem to have been harvested from a dozen movies and pasted into this one with new names. Even the production design looks borrowed.

Omar Sharif's narration lends a faint air of importance to the film, which is already burdened by bags of self importance, and the cast have to battle through impenetrable costumes and make up without looking silly. They almost succeed .... If some of the mumbo jumbo were cut out, not only would it tighten the film, it would also make the essential core of the story, the chase, more dynamic. But the film must be judged a partial success in appealing to its prime audience of teenagers eager for novelty.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

10,000 BC (M)
(US/NZ, 2008)

CAST: Camilla Belle, Steven Strait, Cliff Curtis, Reece Ritchie, Tim Barlow, Marco Khan, Mo Zinal

NARRATION: Omar Sharif

PRODUCER: Roland Emmerich, Mark Gordon, Michael Wimer

DIRECTOR: Roland Emmerich

SCRIPT: Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ueli Steiger

EDITOR: Alexander Berner

MUSIC: Harald Kloser, Thomas Wander

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Jean-Vincent Puzos

RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 6, 2008







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