Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mammoth Hunter Meets Early Egyptians

Review by Mary Harrsch

Well, I finally had a chance to watch 10,000 B.C. on DVD. I must admit, I was a little thrown by the combination of a story about very early man and Mammoths and Saber-toothed cats mixed with people of an Egyptian-like culture complete with paper, advanced metallurgy and pyramid building. It kept me watching if for no other reason than to try to figure out the plot amidst total confusion. Roland Emmerich has an apparent obsession with ancient Egypt and keeps injecting references to it in his work. The "tribes" attacking the pyramid-shaped temple in the climax seemed like just a bunch of actors in different costumes recreating the climatic scene in "Stargate". The young boy with the dread locks even seemed to imitate the role of Skaara in Star Gate, insisting on trying to be grown up but stumbling into trouble.

The makeup and character of the 'wise mother" figure reminded me of the little sorceress Galen (Pauline Lynch) in the TV miniseries Attila who, through mysterious means, took the deadly effects of the poison arrows shot at Attila (Gerard Butler) by his rival Bleda (Tommy Flanagan) upon herself thereby sacrificing her life to save Attila. However, I would hate to draw too many comparisons as both "Stargate" and "Attila" far outshine Emmerich's latest film and both are personal favorites (although Attila scores higher - probably because I am a passionate fan of stories about the Roman Empire and I must also be honest - Gerard Butler is very pleasant to watch - leather speedos not withstanding!)

Perhaps if Emmerich had included a time portal the film would have at least made a bit more sense rather than juxtaposing wildly disparate historical and geographical elements without any apparent rationale. This would have at least placed the film in the realm of science fiction or fantasy rather than leave it dangling precariously above the category of historical fiction.

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