In ancient times, hundreds of years before the dawn of history, lived a strange pair of goblins. They didn’t know who they were. Or what they were doing. So they decided to pass the time by reviewing a load of films set in prehistoric times.
On an arctic tundra a tribe of primitive humans get a taste of their own medicine when they’re hunted by their technological superiors and gathered together to be slaves.
Set at the dawn of man, shortly after the invention of Ugg boots but before the invention of personalities, the enslaved village has a saviour in the form of mammoth hunter extraordinaire D’Leh (Steven Strait), and before you can say snake cult he sets out to rescue them Conan the Caveman style.
From weightless CGI pioneer Roland Emmerich, this takes its stylistic queues firmly from The Lord of the Rings with plenty of wide aerial shots of striking real-world locations. Unfortunately the visual standards cave in when it gets to aged computer graphics and badly-lit sound stages which look more like The Last Airbender.
But it does serve as a warning. Any modern humans who yearn for the simpler days of the hunter gatherer might want to check out the never-ending stream of misery, enslavement and pyramid sieges that await them. And also consider how much easier it is to defeat a mammoth with today’s technology.
But worse than the absence of cheese graters and foot spas is the empty void where human emotion should be. Its characters have as much depth as a cave painting, with no attempt to make us care about them at all, and a complete absence of humour or levity. Why does stone age have to mean stoney faced?
While it may have been more appropriate to call it 10,000BCE, it was the sight of woolly mammoths charging down the Great Pyramid that made me really start to question Emmerich’s commitment to historical accuracy. Unless BC stands for Before Characterisation. A film this stupid has to be fun, but it feels like the grave stone age, and is a mammoth waste of time.
Yabba dabba don’t.