You know who’s repetitive? Roland Emmerich. That’s who’s repetitive. Roland Emmerich is. Repetitive. I mean, I like the guy. I think the one movie he makes over and over again is pretty awesome.
Independence Day is probably his best work. The Patriot was good too, definitely a fun movie. Funny how both of those got released on the 4th of July. Oh wait, no. It’s just repetitive. Surely a movie called 10,000 B.C. isn’t about the American quest for freedom…. no, wait. It is.
A prehistoric tribe is attacked without warning by evil Arabians that believe in a different and strange God (cough, cough, 9/11, cough). Citizens are killed, girlfriends stolen, et cetera. In order to reclaim his bride to be, our hero is forced to unite the world and bring the battle back to Egypt. At least, I think it’s Egypt. The geography is pretty muddled, but I assume it’s Egypt based on the pyramids involved. I suppose that could have been a clever red herring.
The film has its Emmerich moments. It has some awesome battles in the second half of the movie, and old Rolly always makes it fun to see the bad guys collect their comeuppance. It’s not hard to imagine the producer reading the script and avidly checking off each one of his mega-hit bullet points.
CGI monsters √
spectacle location √
allegory for American freedom √
mysterious prophecy √
personal stake for the hero √
ticking time bomb √
All the ingredients for a blockbuster billion dollar movie. Except one.
Am I getting too cynical out here? I double checked with Rotten Tomatoes, just to find out what color crack I’m smoking, and guess what? No pipe. They gave it one of the lowest ratings I’ve ever seen.
Surely, it wasn’t that bad a movie. There’s way too much narration, which is plodding and intrusive, the characters are so archetypal that they need no explanation, and the plot is more predictable than a cereal box maze.
But woolly mammoths are cool, dammit. Sabertooth tigers are cool. Giant killer ostriches are cool. These are the facts and they are indisputable. Wait, giant killer ostriches? Wha?
Well, they’re ostriches, but I mean they’re the GIANT, killer kind of ostriches. Maybe you need to see the movie to believe it. They’re cool, I swear.
Anyway, I had a point. This isn’t the billion dollar movie that Mark Gordon wanted, but that’s because it plays the story so damn safe. Awesome CG monsters can only get you so far before you’re faced with the fact that a story is kinda, sorta, maybe important to film making.