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10, 000 BC

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Uploaded on May 24, 2010

It's man versus mammoth in this epic tale of pre-historic living. Gasp! As sabre-tooth tigers attack our heroes. Be dazzled! As wooly mammoths come back from extinction, for one night only. Cringe! At the slightly dodgy special effects. This is rather more than Jurassic park plus or minus a few ages. This is 10,000 BC!!!

So what's the plot? The Yagahl mountain tribe lead a peaceful life hunting mammoths and telling stories round the camp fire. However their way of life is threatened when slaver raiders capture the tribe's young men and women. Unfortunately for young tribesman D'Leh, the fate of the tribe rests in his hands.

When I was at school MANY YEARS AGO one of my favourite teachers was called Nigel Baring. History class with Bunter Baring was the stuff of legend ñ largely due to his enormous physical stature and love of custard cream biscuits. However, the 1 moment that will stick in my mind above all other is when Mr Baring was once 15 minutes late for class.

The doors suddenly swung open and Mr Baring crashed into the classroom. He went over to his desk, surveyed the room of 20 boys and issued the immortal lines: GENTLEMEN, SORRY I'M LATE BUT I'VE BEEN SHAGGING MY WIFE ON THE KITCHEN TABLE!

Now Mr Baring's sexual exploits have nothing to do with 10,000 BC, but 1 thing you can be sure of is that he would have ruptured his spleen about the historical inaccuracies in this movie. So please don't watch this film and expect anything other than a ludicrously fictional take on ancient history.

What you can expect is a film that's pretty easy on the eye. You've got some great scenes involving a mammoth hunt, some gorgeously rendered sabre tooth tigers and some mildly frightening giant birds with an attitude problem. What you don't have is a compelling plotline, any particularly engaging characters or indeed dialogue that is worth listening to. At the end of the day, this is 10,000 BC's problem. If you set a movie before the time when language really started to develop, you're left with a series of tedious monosyllabic conversations.

To use Mr Baring's own words, this is all absent-minded guff. Any attempt at realism here would be no doubt somewhat grim. This is the sort of airy-flim-flam you can have playing on your TV while you do something else more important instead. Like darning your gentlemen's socks, or perhaps attending to your bansai tree. For my money, it's 3 stars and not a penny more.

For the best of the rest:

Channel 4:
It's safe to say 10,000 B.C. has one of the most absurd storylines in recent film history. Yet the preposterousness of a premise which involves both mammoths and pyramids is not the problem. Vast tracts are dull and po-faced. It's just not fun, and it's a very long way from the vim and vigour of director Roland Emmerich's best film, 1996's reliably entertaining - though equally daft - Independence Day.


The Telegraph:
Let's get the quibbles out of the way first: historical accuracy in 10,000 BC (12A) is as hard to find as a bottle of Scotch in Ian Paisley's kitchen cupboard. Here, the director Roland Emmerich - who cut his teeth on the spectacles of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow - has laid it on with an outsize trowel. If it dates from the distant past and it looks vaguely like fun, he's hurled it into the mix.

THe New York Times:
ìOnly time can teach us what is truth and what is legend.î This bit of fake-folk wisdom commences the voice-over narration of ì10,000 BC,î and the more you think about it, the more preposterous it seems. If anything, time confuses the issue. But it's best not to think too hard about anything in this sublimely dunderheaded excursion into human prehistory, directed by Roland Emmerich from a script he wrote with Harald Kloser, who also helped compose, using his better ear, the musical score.

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