starring StevenStrait, Camilla Belle, Cliff Curtis, Joel Virgel, Mo Zainal, Nathanael Baring and Mona Hammond
written by Roland Emmerich and Harald Kloser
directed by Roland Emmerich
This is a parable about the transition from hunter-gathering society to agricultural society after/during the end of the last Ice Age. It is not at all historic, which is what I was hoping to see. I was hoping for a more historically accurate story of pre-civilized human life, which should have been easy enough to accomplish. But instead I saw a horrible hodge-podge of mixed up facts and imaginary information: time lines all askew - metallurgy and animal domestication, for example - the age of the pyramids all wrong; the extinction era for beasts such as Mammoths and saber tooth tigers all wrong; population size; literacy; urbanization and social organization. It was disconcerting to watch this story set so early in history, featuring stereotypic sets of good guys and bad guys, and the bad guys are riding around on horseback with metal fittings clinking. It was the first of the serious timeline errors I identified, and it is the one that still bothers me the most. There was even some Atlantis mythology woven in. Who is this guy, Roland Emmerich? It looks to me like Emmerich scanned the pre-history section of several encyclopedias and then just cut-and-pasted things together to come up with a ridiculous script.
From an historically honest perspective, you’d do better to watch Jean-Jacques Annaud’s 1981 film La Guerre de feu, or Quest for Firein English, starring Ron Perlman. I saw it when it was in a rep house theater in the village of Elora, north of Guelph. I thought it was interesting, but I didn’t like it. (Neither did my date who thought I was taking her to see the Hugh Hudson film Chariots of Fire, starring Nicholas Farrell, which was also in circulation about the same time.) But the mixed up time line is not as crazy as the 1966 Don Chaffey film One Million Years B.C., starring Raquel Welch in her famous fur bikini. (That’s been turned into a poster to decorate university students’ dorm room walls ever since.)
Cliff Curtis is a serious actor. I know him and recognize his face, and I feel badly to see him in 10,000 B.C. Throughout the movie I wondered if Roland Emmerich was narrating the story, but learning only at the end that it was Omar Sharif. I was glad to know that Omar is still alive.