ZERO STARS/**** Image A Sound A Extras B-
starring Steven Strait, Camilla Belle, Cliff Curtis, Joel Virgel
screenplay by Roland Emmerich & Harald Kloser
directed by Roland Emmerich
by Walter Chaw Gather 'round, younglings, pull up a rock. Comfortable? Good. Roland Emmerich's 10,000 BC is about a young warrior named "D'Leh" (Steven Strait) who has the bad judgment to fall in love with doll-eyed Evolet (Camilla Belle)--who herself has the bad judgment to be kidnapped by slave traders. The movie starts in the Himalayas, I think, and ends there following an interminable foray in a rainforest as well as an Egyptian detour. I know it's Egypt because we see them building Pyramids in the desert, though I confess to being a little confused by the revelation that mammoths are beasts of burden in 10,000 BC, forced to participate in the construction of said pyramids. I had time to wonder aloud about how this is the second film after Jumper in 2008's deadly winter-doldrums sweepstakes to go to Egypt's Valley of Kings, and about how D'Leh and his mentor Tic'Tic (Cliff Curtis) could not only make the hike from Nepal (or somewhere) to Egypt wearing sandals and standard-issue Tarzan gear, but also why they were dressed like that on an exposed, snow-covered mountain in the first place. 10,000 BC's first mistake is giving the audience time to think at all, seeing as how the same courtesy was not afforded to anyone on the production side of things--thus allowing for domesticated sabre-toothed tigers and mammoths to decorate this epic™ quest in pursuit of a damsel so under-developed that when it's revealed she has scars in the shape of the constellation Orion, I genuinely had no idea why it mattered. Still don't.