Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000 to 2009.
Narration in Roland Emmerich’s 2008 prehistoric film proclaimed the story would “live forever and be whispered on the winds from all four white mountains.” Too bad it had all the dramatic heft of one man’s journey from, say, stockboy to clerk.
Rather than a disaster movie, this was just plain disaster — a radical departure from Emmerich’s usually effective milieu and, unsurprisingly, his most woefully moronic.
Instead of Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, it’s D’Leh: The Slow Thinker). Pronounced “delay,” D’Leh (Steven Strait) is a not-particularly-skilled hunter in love with Evolet (Camilla Belle). When she’s kidnapped, he tracks her for about 3,000 miles. How else to explain D’Leh’s descent from snowy peaks into a humid rainforest and, moments later, an arid desert? What, you’ve never heard of the continent Africopasia?
D’Leh’s ability to talk to animals — namely a tiger he openly asks not to eat him — enables him to unite tribes against oppressors. See, friendly whites magically saved troubled Blacks even millennia ago! Strait easily is the worst actor ever tasked to give the Braveheart morale speech — by now so easy a caveman could do it.
Some backgrounds looked as though Emmerich and crew broke into a museum after hours and filmed in dioramas. And 10,000 desperately wanted to be 300-light with its smattering of physically deformed people and a villain with a voice so digitally lowered, it sounded like a lumberjack’s GPS device. Sadly, Emmerich’s movie turned out a lot funnier than Year One, for all the wrong reasons.