10,000 BC Holds its Own
By Meg Arnette
March 11, 2008
The previews for 10,000 BC do not do it justice.
I can be honest and say that upon first seeing the previews for this film, I wrote it off as just another film about cavemen. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the latest movie from director Roland Emmerich, who is responsible for hits such as The Day After Tomorrow and Independence Day, is a fast-paced flick that, in my opinion, could appeal to all audiences.
The film focuses on D’leh, a young man who lives among hunters of the Yagahl, a remote mountain tribe. Despite his humble origin, throughout the course of the film, D’leh continues to encounter beings and circumstances that suggest a greater destiny.
D’leh is portrayed by Steven Strait, who starred in the 2006 horror-thriller, The Covenant. While some critics have already argued that Strait’s performance as D’leh is often stiff and predictable, I found his range refreshing. His love for Evolet proves him to be warm and engaging, and his strategies as a hunter and warrior demonstrate him as a cunning and intelligent young character.
A prophecy, revealed by the spiritual leader of the Yagahl tribe, speaks of a great hunter who will rise from within their tribe and lead them into a new life. Before this can be fulfilled, however, the Yagahl are attacked by four-legged "demons," raiders who kidnap their people, including the beautiful Evolet.
Not exactly known for his courage, as he has been abandoned by his father and isolated from the rest of the tribe, D’leh sets off to track the raiders, and is accompanied by his mentor Tic’Tic, and a young boy named Baku. As the men travel across the mountains and enter foreign territory, they are also introduced to new tribes, as well as more advanced technologies and weaponry.
Along the way, audiences are treated to disappointingly barren landscapes, and somewhat impressive special effects featuring prehistoric creatures we’ve all read about, such as mammoths, saber-tooth cats and terror birds. One surprisingly brave moment from D’leh serves to pave the way for him to become the leader of several tribes who plan to attack the mysterious raiders who threaten their way of life.
It is arguable that this film is certainly not historically accurate; this is perhaps why most critics have given it negative reviews. However, I urge audiences to appreciate the movie for what it really is: an entertaining, mythical story of a reluctant hero who rises against his personal fear to save his people and the woman he loves. Any audience can appreciate such a tale, even if it doesn’t appear within the pages of our history books.