Thursday, July 24, 2008

10,000 Boring Cliché

Over the weekend I watched the movie 10,000 B.C. It was so bad that I didn't even bother reviewing it here. However I was talking with a fellow movie buff at work and he mentioned that when watching B.C. he noticed that it had the same plot as last year's Mel Gibson film, Apocalypto. I said that I'd noted the same thing. But then I went on to mention that the basic plot, an idyllic people are captured and taken into slavery by a more 'civilized' tribe and one of the members of the more primitive tribe fights through to rescue his people, is hardly new. I mean that story has basically been re-treaded since the story of Moses. (And even before that.) Sure, Moses didn't physically battle the Pharaoh, though if the Ten Commandments was remade today, he probably would. (I can see Moses and the Pharaoh squaring off at the foot of the Great Pyramid. They'd start off fighting with staffs, then maybe a little wu shu action and some wire work.)
Anyway, the plot has been used for Westerns, SF films, sword and sandal movies, and even more contemporary films. I guess 10,000 B.C.'s similarity to Apocalypto is just a bit more jarring because the two movies were made so close together. I'm surprised that Mel didn't sue.
In addition to the clichéd plot, the movie suffered from poor pacing, anachronisms galore, and uneven special effects. I thought the mammoths looked pretty good in the first few scenes, but really goofy toward the end of the movie. The saber tooth tiger looked like a cartoon. The CGI guys should have used more motion capture of actual big cats. There's some mystic mumbo jumbo that's never really explained and for some reason all the cave men have strange European accents. The movie's just a mess.

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