AERIAL SHOT of men wearing animal furs, walking, making their way across rocky snow-covered mountain tops. VOICE-OVER, a narrator tells of a legend about a girl with blue eyes. He follows this up with the observation that the details of a legend can become hazy or lost over time.
On this point, I tend to agree with him since what he has to say is already becoming a little hazy for me. He did say blue eyes, right? Is the narrator really still talking?
In the first few minutes of 10,000 BC, the film boldly establishes two main themes: people walking — and stupid dialogue. Old Mother, the wise woman of a caveman tribe, picks up where the narrator leaves off and pads out the legend/prophecy with some mumbo-jumbo of her own.
Old Mother: Four-legged demons will arrive one day and put an end to our world. But a hero, a warrior will rise and lead us to a new land.
Marauders on horses (the four-legged demons foretold in prophecy) eventually do turn up. The village is burnt to the ground, the young and healthy are taken captive, and the surviving cavemen are force-marched to the marauders’ homeland and made slaves.
In an effort to give credibility to the standard-issue bad guy dialogue, the marauders don’t speak caveman (which sounds a lot like belabored, broken English). Instead, they have their own language, which, unfortunately, means it must be read in subtitles.
The following is a close approximation of marauder-speak and its translation:
Marauder: Kash-nook noodock nic tay!
Translation: Blah blah blah blah blah.
While admittedly not a word-for-word translation, it captures the spirit of what’s being said.