10,000 BC (2008)

(In theaters, April 2008) Though billed as a historical adventure in prehistoric time, it may be closer to reality to call this a laugh-free comedy set in prehistoric fantasyland. All that energy could have been spent on a luscious Conan film, but instead we get sabertooth tigers living alongside terror birds, mammoths being used to build pyramids and other nonsense. It occasionally makes for great images (what would it have been like to face down a charging mammoth?), but 10,000 BC seldom finds a way to take advantage of the material it glues together thanks to an indifferent story and a script that seldom gives us a reason to care about its characters. Worse yet is the dash of wholly unnecessary mysticism that provides useful plot coupons and rescues a happy ending out of poor plotting choices. But the film’s biggest problem -by far- it that it’s an inert and boring piece of filmmaking that can’t even justify its grandiose title. The worthwhile material from this film fits in the trailer with some time to spare, so watch that rather than the full film: at least you’ll be able to use the remaining two hours to do something else.

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