Unintentionally funny, director Roland Emmerich's prehistoric 'epic' is brimming with enough bad CGI, dumb dialogue, cheesy performances, clichés and poor plotting to make it an early front runner for worst film of the year.
A shoe-in to sweep the boards at the 2009 Golden Raspberry awards, this Hollywood howler adds to a portfolio of Emmerich movies ('The Day After Tomorrow'; 'Independence Day') that should be extinct from cinemas, videos, DVD or any other visual format.
So here's how it goes. The plot centres on a tribe in an un-named part of the world, who just happen to speak perfect English. Our 'hero' is the dreadlocked D'Leh (Strait), who is considered to be the village coward after his father leaves the camp in their time of need.
All the elements you'd expect are here. Want a hero who begins as a foolish and cowardly boy and then becomes a heroic man over an hour-and-a-half? You got it. How about a cocky rival who may save him from danger at some stage? Done. What about an old, mythical all-seeing woman who can look into the future? No problem. And let's not forget an aging father-figure who, if he dies, will more than likely be "avenged"? Your wish is done.
Throw in a long time love (the beautifully blue-eyed Camilla Belle) some "prophecies"; "destinies"; "saviours" and "I'll never leave you" moments, and you get the picture.
With such cheesy, clichéd, ham-fisted elements to '10,000 BC' non-displeasing to Emmerich, why would he bother then to make the movie in any way realistic?
Along with the aforementioned perfect pronunciation of the English language, Strait's D'Leh must have some gym equipment and a razor hidden in his tent, while Belle's Evolet has long discovered and perfected the application of eye-liner. Had our heroes stopped off at a Starbucks along their trek to rescue "my people", we as an audience wouldn't have batted an eyelid. Why don't they drop in for a Big Mac while they're at it.
In a bid to place maximum bums on seats, Emmerich and Warner Brothers have pulled out all the stops for a PG rating. So unlike '300' or Mel Gibson's 'Apocalypto', almost no blood is spilled in '10,000 BC'. Sure people die, but we don't get to see many killings up close. This all leads to the unrealistic nature of the movie. These are primitive warriors -aren't they meant to be like Rambo or something!
Elsewhere the CGI is poor and the special effects unbelievable. We're now 15 years on from 'Jurassic Park' and yet at no point do the effects used in '10,000 BC' top those of Spielberg's fine dinosaur movie.
Perhaps the most annoying thing about Emmerich's movie however, is that it's a missed opportunity - a missed moment to in any way make an engaging, realistic and entertaining prehistoric epic. Rubbish.