For the opening 30 minutes, 10,000 BC has a chance. It’s loaded with action, skips much of the simplistic story, and keeps the viewer engaged. Unfortunately, the movie continues devoid of entertainment until the big finale, but by then, the audience could care less.
All of the impressive sights in the world can’t save this hideously generic story of a man trying to reach his kidnapped lover. Attempts to bring more to it, including ridiculous legends and hilariously over the top concepts that are cop-outs for the writers in the end fail miserably. The actors, speaking perfect English (?), bring nothing to this tale of human survival other than the easy on the eyes Camilla Belle.
The action is energetic on screen. The astounding visual effects of the woolly mammoths are impressive. The sense of scale and intensity when they’re on screen is perfect. The same goes a fun bird assault in tall grass. 10,000 BC is trying to be more than a creature feature though, and that’s where things go wrong.
Taking the idea of a lost part of human history and running with it creates a massive, epic scale finale. However, the audience learns nothing of these people, whether it be who they actually are or where they are located. This makes the enemies nameless and faceless fodder for the battle that’s obviously being built up through long, dull exposition.
Sequences of drawn out dialogue are flat out boring. The audience learns most of the information through narration instead of from the characters, and it makes many scenes feel unnecessary. There’s not enough character in the characters to make them stand out. In some scenes, it can even be difficult to tell them apart with the generic personalities.
10,000 BC is a movie with a concept that it can’t do anything with. It draws audiences in with its fun creature action, then drops it entirely for the entire second (and much of the third) act. What replaces it is uninspired rescue drivel that never should have been made into a film.
Those pretty visuals come through flawlessly in HD. Colors are superb, black levels are rich, and the contrast created from them is remarkable. Detail is high, and the transfer is remarkably sharp. The film offers a wide array of color schemes from scene to scene, and the disc handles them all admirably. The transfer is incredibly clear as a whole, and offers numerous scenes worthy of being considered for a demo of you equipment.
Those looking to push their subwoofers to the limits will find this disc to their needs. The deep, intense rumble produced by the steps of the woolly mammoths is intense. Surround use is amazing and atmospheric. The short jungle sequence creates stunning ambient audio, and sequences featuring work on the pyramids close to the end feature the slaves working in all directions. Action scenes overload the sound field with accurate positional sound. The only issue is some dialogue mixed too low in the early going, which is minor overall.
Extras are brief, which almost undoubtedly means a special edition sometime down the line. A Wild and Woolly Ride is a 13-minute promotional piece on the making of the film. Inspiring an Epic also runs 13 minutes, discussing some of the lost history that inspired the film. An alternate ending and deleted scenes oddly enough also total 13 minutes, though there’s little of value to either.
10,000 BC was wisely not screened for critics. Instead, journalists were given a small 20-minute snippet, likely one of the action sequences. Giving them the entire film would have killed off the promotional buzz.