(SCENE: The local multiplex. Enter MYSELF and my ROOMMATE, who has requested anonymity for the purposes of this post, and so shall be known as FLAPJACKS. We sit in anticipation of watching 10,000 BC, which we are certain is going to be very, very bad.)
ME: Okay, here we go.
FLAPJACKS: I am stoked.
ME: Be aware that at any point we can theatre-hop over next door if we can’t stands no more.
FLAPJACKS: What are they playing?
ME: College Road Trip.
FLAPJACKS: Isn’t that with Martin Lawrence?
FLAPJACKS: …let’s stay here for now.
(VOICE OF OMAR SHARIF begins narrating.)
ME: So there’s apparently a legend that never dies.
FLAPJACKS: Which died, but then Roland Emmerich went on an archeological dig and found stone tablets telling the amazing story and he brought it to life.
ME: A timeless story of true love, and mammoths.
FLAPJACKS: But not true love with mammoths.
ME: Although apparently in this story mammoths are called “manniks.”
FLAPJACKS: It’s so we know that these are old-timey times. The tribesmen speak perfect English, but they have different names for things. Because it is old times.
ME: So apparently this one hunter doesn’t believe in the disastrous prophecy and he’s taking off from his tribe to find a better life for all concerned.
FLAPJACKS: I wonder if that will be a plot point.
(A young girl is brought to the village elder, and a young boy stares at her intensely.)
FLAPJACKS: See? Timeless story of true love.
ME: …it’s kind of creepy seeing prepubescent kids acting like they’re in love.
FLAPJACKS: Well, Roland Emmerich is European. They have different morals than us. That’s why Roman Polanski lives there.
FLAPJACKS: I’m not wrong about that.
ME: What type of European is Roland Emmerich anyways? German?
FLAPJACKS: Whatever type is averse to spending money on good special effects.
(The young kids practice hunting.)
ME: Wow. That is one fake looking matte painting.
FLAPJACKS: Be fair – they obviously blew most of their budget on teaching everybody to talk like Zsa Zsa Gabor.
ME: …oh god you’re right. I was going to call you out, but you’re right. They do talk like Zsa Zsa Gabor.
FLAPJACKS: All they need to do is call each other “dahling” and maybe throw in a “mahvelous” or two, and this could be “Hollywood Squares” circa 1983.
(Now everybody is grown up, and the menfolk go hunting after mammoths.)
FLAPJACKS: These are some weak CGI mammoths.
ME: They’re not that bad. I mean, they’re as good as what was in Jurassic Park.
FLAPJACKS: Jurassic Park is fifteen years old. Granted, if I was a teenager again, I’d be stoned, so this would be awesome. But I’m not, and so I recognize these crap special effects for the crap that they are.
(BAD PEOPLE come and take away most of the villagers, except for D’leh (the hero), Tiktik (the tough old guy), Ka’Ren (the sidekick) and Baku (the annoying kid). And a bunch of other villagers, including the wise-woman of the tribe. Really, they didn’t get a whole lot of people, really, but they get Evolet (D’leh’s squeeze), so that is what is important.)
FLAPJACKS: Wow, that one bad guy with the one eye stabbed first before entering. That is planning.
ME: And he killed Baku’s mom! And then took off his evil mask. Why would he take off his evil mask?
FLAPJACKS: After you’ve accidentally stabbed somebody, sometimes you just need to take a moment and breathe it all in.
(The four aforementioned people with names chase after the bad people, with Moka tagging along after the three older men surreptitiously.)
D’LEH:Baku! Why are you here?
ME: “I have a convenient revenge subplot!”
FLAPJACKS: “I provide eye candy for the crucial tween-girl demographic!”
ME: “If I don’t come along, who will make the lame poop jokes and destroy suspension of disbelief? You need me, D’leh!”
(Lengthy travel montage.)
VOICE OF OMAR SHARIF: …and they journeyed for many days, and many nights…
FLAPJACKS: “…for what appears to be thousands and thousands of miles…”
ME: “…down, out of the snowy mountain areas, which are apparently right next door to a tropical rainforest…”
FLAPJACKS: “…because nobody could be bothered to disguise the fact that this is New Zealand, practically the only place on earth where you go from “tundra” to “jungle” in twenty feet…”
ME: While we’re dissing this movie, how come the lead bad guy speaks with an obvious vocal distortion? No way his voice is naturally that deep. It’s making the bass generators in the speakers go staticky.
FLAPJACKS: He’s Darth Vader, Mark One.
(Something attacks the slavers in the bushes.)
FLAPJACKS: What are those, I wonder? Sabretooth tigers? I heard there were sabretooth tigers in this movie.
ME: Maybe it’s velociraptors.
FLAPJACKS: Shame on you for suggesting that Roland Emmerich would lazily recycle from other, better movies, the way he’s cribbing this entire scene from The Lost World.
ME: Wait, are you saying The Lost World was good? The movie where the little black girl beats raptors with gymnastics, remember.
FLAPJACKS: It’s better than this. Why does everybody in this goddamned movie have dreadlocks? I mean, I get it, they don’t have scissors or the concept of cutting hair, but how did they figure out dreadlocks?
ME: Dreadlocks are cave-man-y.
FLAPJACKS: Are their fairly obvious body waxings and manicures also cave-man-y?
ME: They’re metrosexual cavemen.
FLAPJACKS: And how do they manage to shave their facial hear so neatly if they can’t cut their dreadlocks?
ME: They’re Rastafarian metrosexual cavemen.
FLAPJACKS: What’s College Road Trip about again?
ME: Well, Raven-Symone wants to go to college…
FLAPJACKS: That is definitely so Raven.
(D’Leh idiotically tries to free Evolet when the slavers are all intently on guard and a chase scene erupts. It turns out the velociraptors are, in fact, actually giant rocs.)
FLAPJACKS: Wow, these giant rocs are very much acting like velociraptors.
FLAPJACKS: Roland Emmerich believes in evolution.
ME: If “evolution” is “stealing outright from Steven Spielberg,” then yes.
(Tiktik gets hurt by the rocs, and everybody but him and D’leh get captured/recaptured by the slavers, who herd their captives into a desert.)
FLAPJACKS: So let’s recap. They’ve gone from what’s pretty obviously supposed to be at least either Central Europe around Romania or possibly the interior of Russia, through a tropical jungle, and now they’re in a desert, presumably in northern Africa. This is a walk you can measure in the thousands of miles. You’d think they’d at least show some stubble.
ME: I wasn’t aware that there was a tropical jungle anywhere between Europe and northern Africa.
FLAPJACKS: Well, this is ten thousand years ago. Maybe it got cut down by the ancient Romans when they conquered everything.
ME: “But, Heroclitus, what about global warming?”
FLAPJACKS: “Look, these prisoners aren’t going to crucify themselves!”
(D’leh falls into a deep pit trap and falls unconscious. It begins raining thunderously, and he wakes up to see a sabretooth tiger trapped underneath some logs. He decides not to kill it.)
D’LEH: You’d better not eat me!
FLAPJACKS: It’s a giant cat, D’leh. You banking on it having gratitude is not exactly the smart play.
ME: “No, of course I won’t eat you. Not all of you, anyway. Well, not today, I might save some for later. What? I’m a fucking giant cat. At least I won’t play around with your remains too much, okay?”
(Amazingly, the cat does not eat D’leh, and he and Tiktik make their way to an African tribal village, where the cat shows up to protect them from villagers who think they’re enemies, then leaves.)
FLAPJACKS: “I was never here, okay? God, I’d never live this shit down if people found out.”
ME: I assume by “people” you mean “other giant cats.”
(After the giant cat leaves, the villagers are impressed.)
NAKUDU THE VILLAGE HEADMAN: You come with us, and eat.
TIKTIK: How do you speak our tongue?
ME: “Writer fiat. Why?”
FLAPJACKS: I wonder what the over/under is on the number of times Nakudu here will be asked to translate for Mr. White Guy Who Never Learned A Second Language.
ME: I know I enjoy nothing so much as watching people translate. Especially in an action movie. I like waiting that extra few seconds for crackling dialogue such as can be found in this movie.
D’LEH: Together, we can defeat these demons.
ME: Yeah, suck on that, Diablo Cody! You show D’Leh a hamburger phone and he’d try to eat it!
FLAPJACKS: After a five-minute scene where he would try to learn what a hamburger is, of course.
(The slavers make their getaway on boats. D’leh and Tiktik and Nakudu and the warriors of half a dozen tribes all head into the desert trying to find the city they’re headed for.)
ME: …why don’t they just follow the river? The river has water. Fresh water. The desert does not have fresh water. This really feels like a pretty simple concept here.
FLAPJACKS: Now, now – if they didn’t go into the desert, then D’leh wouldn’t have to invent star navigation to get them out of it.
(Finally, D’leh and company arrive at the slaver city – where the slaves are building pyramids.)
ME: Wait, they took them to Egypt?
FLAPJACKS: I think it’s not actually supposed to be Egypt, per se. I mean, from the steppes of Eurasia to Egypt would be a trek of, like, a year and a half? And note how everything only looks, like, pseudo-Egyptian.
ME: Didn’t Egypt only really get started around 4,000 BC anyway?
FLAPJACKS: You and your “historical accuracy.” Next up, you’ll be complaining about the fact that the reason the mammoths – excuse me, “manniks” – were disappearing from D’leh’s tribe’s homeland is because the fake Egyptians were stealing them to haul giant stone blocks.
ME: I don’t have a problem with the fake Egyptians stealing mammoths to haul giant stone blocks. But this is a desert. Anywhere there’s a desert means you’re probably a lot closer to actual plain old elephants, which are both more suited for the climate and not way the hell off in the middle of nowhere.
ME: Also, if I were D’leh, I’d be all intimidated, because these guys are already up to Masonry and Bronze Working, and my tribe is still stuck at Hunting.
FLAPJACKS: That’s their secret plan – to build the Pyramids so they can discover Universal Suffrage a thousand turns ahead of schedule!
ME: “Shit, they probably have Axemen!”
FLAPJACKS: We are such nerds.
(D’leh sneaks into the city to try and convince the slaves to rise up against their masters, but they don’t want to because they think the slavers are gods.)
ME: Apparently “ancient” is synonymous with “retarded.”
FLAPJACKS: Come now. These are simple folk of their times, who do not understand the concept of “boats,” because nothing floated back then.
(D’leh and his allies sneak into the city again and pretend to be slaves, then stampede the mammoths over the slavers. The freed slaves start destroying all the monuments.)
FLAPJACKS: “…and that, children, is why there aren’t any pyramids in Egypt.”
ME: Can this movie get any worse?
(Evolet gets stabbed by the bad guy slaver, who incidentally is romantically obsessed with her by now. D’leh stabs him to death, then holds Evolet as she dies, but then the wise woman back at the tribe does magic and passes her life-force onto Evolet, who recovers from being shot with an arrow in the back.)
FLAPJACKS: Yes. Yes it can.
(Happy reunions all around as the remnants of D’leh’s tribe head back home, with seeds given to them by Naduku so they can become farmers, what with the mammoths not coming around any more.)
FLAPJACKS: Nothing quite like farming on frozen tundra. Why didn’t we go see the Raven-Symone movie with Martin Lawrence in it?
ME: I think technically Martin Lawrence gets top billing.
FLAPJACKS: Nobody puts Raven in a corner!