Cheesier than a four-cheese pizza and marginally more accurate than the Flintstones, 10,000 BC is not a film to be taken too seriously. But then, what did we expect from Roland Emmerich, the man who gave us Independence Day and the laughable eco-disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow? In Emmerich's version of the Pleistocene, Africa is populated by mammoth-hunting tribes that speak excellent English, pyramid-building Gods from Atlantis and, appropriately enough, giant turkeys. Apocalypto it ain't.
The hero of this boy's-own epic is D'Leh (Steven Strait), a young mastodon hunter who embarks on a continent-spanning quest to save his girlfriend Evolet (Camilla Belle in Lenny Kravitz dreadlocks and what appears to be eyeliner) from evil slave drivers. Along the way, D'Leh and his mates are frequently D'Lehed by a menagerie of savage CGI beasties, including a ridiculously unconvincing sabre-toothed tiger and the aforementioned turkeys. Eventually they discover a lost civilisation running on mammoth labour and ruled by an effete dictator who wears press-on nails and yards of chiffon.
"HOT TRUNK'N'TUSK ACTION"
10,000 BC is, if anything, even sillier than it sounds. Emmerich plays it straight of course, drafting in Omar Sharif for a grand mythic narration and swooping his camera Peter Jackson style over the wildly varying landscape, as our heroic band hikes from glacier to rainforest to desert with nothing more than a packed lunch of mammoth jerky. The film only comes to life in the action setpieces, which have a flavour of the Harryhausen creature-features of yesteryear. And if you have the patience to sit through the snoozy second act, there's some hot trunk'n'tusk action to enjoy in the last reel. Take the kids along; unless you want them to grow up to be palaeontologists.
10,000 BC is out in the UK on 14th March 2008.