10,000 B.C. (no stars)
In Roland Emmerich’s version of 10,000 B.C.—the year “when legend began” as his film’s tag line tells us—sabre-toothed tigers, woolly mammoths and flesh-eating birds attack a tribe of English-speaking dreadlocked men with manicured, overdeveloped chests and arms (Ben Harper and Lenny Kravitz’s ancestors, presumably?). Pyramids are erected. Disparate ecosystems (rain forests, savannahs, mountain ranges) are kitty-corner to each other. Love and magic—notably the powers of an old soothsayer with an uncanny resemblance to the Boob Lady from The Simpsons Movie—make the world go around.
One should expect nothing less, perhaps, from the director of Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow: though why not just call the film A Gazillion Years B.C., throw in some wicked-looking dinosaurs, a chance meeting with Fred Flintstone and Noah, a cameo by Raquel Welch, and be done with it? Emmerich and his producers have given us the pretense of geological and anthropological accuracy—a compelling sell, actually, to nerds and sensationalists alike (in reality it would have necessitated more carnage, more desperation, more nudity)—and have flinched in order to wrest themselves a PG-13 rating. Thus 10,000 B.C. has a script only a (dumb) child could love, and seemingly takes large chunks of its quest narrative from The Ewok Adventure.
And the CGI? It’s OK, but nothing special, really, compared to such higher-budgeted accomplishments as The Golden Compass and Peter Jackson’s King Kong. A complete travesty, then; just go with the radical creationists on this one and pretend 10,000 B.C. never existed.
10,000 B.C. is now playing at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto (259 Richmond St. W.), Cineplex Odeon Queensway (1025 The Queensway), Alliance Atlantis Beach Cinemas (1651 Queen St. E.) and others.