Don't go see this movie. Even if you, like me, have a vaguely career-related excuse to go see it, and an interest in the subject matter, don't do it. Rent it, later, and you can have a good laugh, but whomever you sucker into going to the theater with you isn't going to be happy about paying for it.
I admit that I knew it would be bad, and went anyway. A better title would have been, as one of my movie-goer companions commented afterward, "Stuff We Saw on National Geographic and Thought Might Have Happened at Some Point in Human History." There was no scientific or historic adviser, in any case. But I knew that would probably be true, too, and I went anyway. This movie is so wrong that I can't even go into detail without spending far too much time on it than it deserves, and there are some issues regarding racist portrayals of kitchy Native American-like culture and an inability of African groups, who are apparently a few thousand years ahead of the main characters anyway, to deal with slavers (and of course one white guy makes it all better), but those probably aren't even worth discussion.
Some of my favorites:
- Good enunciation = proto-language and/or exotic dialect
- Hunters manage to walk out of a snow-covered mountainous terrain and into a rainforest, without losing sight of those snow-capped peaks
- One group has domesticated horses, bows/arrows, and metalworking while some other poor slobs are still hunting mammoths
- They walk out of the mountains, through a rainforest, and into Africa..?
- Africa has domesticated plants, including corn, and sends that technology back with the mammoth hunters; the plants apparently do fine up north
- Mammoths are in use as pyramid-building labor in what has to be an Egypt analog (of course! Why didn't we think of that before!)
Really, I have no idea if these were correctly-portrayed mammoths, and not mastodons. They are referred to in the movie as "mammut", which is the mastodon genus name, but they're furry enough that I assume they're supposed to be mammoths. I am a fan of the portrayal of the terror bird, even though they had to stretch a few hundred thousand years to make it applicable (not that they had much of a problem with that, I'm sure); terror birds should be in more movies.
Some of the effects were fun, particularly if you're interested in Egyptian history or the recreation of Plio-Pleistocene megafauna. That almost made it worth it, but not quite.
8 hours ago