Mammoths stampeding around Egypt lacks continuity of time travel

Alex Bethke

Alex Bethke

Writer-director Roland Emmerich is usually anything but realistic. He has directed such films as Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. The concept of reality has absolutely no grasp on his imagination. We saw it when the earth went from normal to Ice Age in about three days in The Day After Tomorrow, and we surely see it again in 10,000 B.C.

The story is centered on D’Leh (Steven Strait, The Covenant) and the Yagahl tribe. The Yagahls are hunters and totally dependent on the woolly mammoth population, which is depleting. The tribe’s psychic elder or “Old Mother” forsees a prophecy; after the last hunt a group of four-legged demons (horses) will come and destroy the tribe. It will then be up to one man to save the tribe. That man turns out to be D’Leh.

D’Leh’s character has to make the transition of being an unsure young man to the strong leader of a rag-tag army and his people. Strait does a good job of making this transition convincing and seamless. It didn’t seem like his character flipped a switch, like the director did for the climate, as much as it seemed like D’Leh actually progressed into his new role.

D’Leh and a small group of men set out to save the people that were taken prisoner by the men on horses. After magically walking out of the Ice Age and into a jungle the men find an African tribe called the Naku. They too have had members stolen from them. As D’Leh travels across what I assume to be the entire continent of Africa, he picks up many warriors who wish to avenge their stolen and murdered people.

When the men reach their destination, they find that their people have been captured for slave labor. Thousands of slaves are being used by a wealthy “god,” with really long finger nails, to build the Great Pyramids of Egypt. It is up to D’Leh and his men to free their people and overthrow this “god.”

The thing about a movie being titled 10,000 B.C. is you think it’s going to have some actual historic orientation, but it doesn’t. If you think about it too much, the movie makes a mockery of any factual thought. D’Leh and his men start in an icy climate, walk out of that and into a sweltering jungle (where they are attacked by ferocious oversized turkeys), and continue on into a desert. Even in 10,000 B.C., that wouldn’t make sense. Furthermore, structured civilization and cities did not form until approximately 5,000 B.C., horses were not domesticated until around 4,500 B.C., and the corn given to D’Leh towards the end of the movie could only be found in the Americas at that time. Oh, and I’m pretty sure woolly mammoths weren’t used to help build the pyramids.

Camilla Belle (When a Stranger Calls, The Quiet) plays Evolet, the mysterious blue-eyed girl who wonders into the Yagahl tribe, triggering the “Old Mother’s” prophecy. Evolet and D’Leh form a love connection strong enough to fulfill about three different prophecies in this movie. Belle’s acting performance isn’t really amazing either – nobody’s really was – but she is still stunning in the film. Those contact lenses, computer graphics, or perhaps a combination of the two turn her brown eyes to an absolutely beautiful shade of blue. With a mostly masculine cast, she was the one good thing to look at in the movie. Question: Did they have eye liner in 10,000 B.C.? Answer: Yes.

Even though this movie is full of computer-generated imagery and seems really ridiculous, it has a rather throwback theme: a story of a young love that will not die and a young man who is a hero in the making but doesn’t know it; like King Arthur or even The Matrix. Even The Matrix only had one prophecy to be fulfilled; I counted three in this movie. Even though I’m still wondering if the Yagahl people put their hair in dreadlocks or if it just grows naturally like that, the movie was pretty entertaining – ridiculous, but entertaining. So, if you’re bored some night go see 10,000 B.C.