This film is set roughly around the first century, before there were dinosaurs, and when Mammoths ruled the earth. (No Doug McClure) It would have been more pleasing to mine eye had they filmed it in the 2nd century when there were plenty of dinosaurs, imagine the exciting scenes of running away from a Ginormous Rex, swinging through trees to avoid flyingsaurs, and all the thunder lizards stomping around the pyramids near the end of the movie. Cool! Anyway, enough of what good have been- the film makers have their own ideas I suppose.
In a village up in the mountains somewhere live a herd of cavemen and cavewomenmen. They have a tough but enjoyable existence, hunting fish, bears, and of course Wooly Mummies. The time has come however to select a new leader for the tribe- a group of the hardiest teen males have to fight it out in a series of tasks to prove that they are the best in each area- strength, speed, courage, wisdom, and heart. We are introduced to our hero- Tuk Tuk. He is the main candidate for President, but his main rival Tik Tak is just as good, and has a more minty taste. Through into the mix a beautiful girl both men love, and an old sight seeing hag who says scary things about the future like ‘oooh, One with blue eyes shall be the ruin of us’ and ‘ooh, beware going across the mountains to the forbidden land’ and ‘oooh, tomorrow there will be a strong south easterly wind’. The games begin, and Tuk Tuk and Tik Tak (under the guidance of another old warrior, Trevor) excel in each event. It comes to the ‘Catch a Mammoth’ event, where the one who catches a mammoth proves himself to be the best. Tik Tik is a bit of a scumbag and tries to cheat, and in the process almost wipes out the village and kill everyone. Suffice to say, our hero saves the day, forgives Mip Mip, and gets the girl. When a travelling group of marauders steal the girl (I believe her name was also Tuk Tuk leading to some confusion), Tik, Tak, Trev and the gang set out on a deadly quest, encounters tigers, freaks, and other assorted terrors.
Now this is hardly an original film- in fact it steals many ideas from Saving Private Ryan (the group putting themselves in danger to save someone), and other films such was 1,000,000 BC and 1,000,000,000,000 AD have done it better. I loved those films growing up. My brother Andy and myself used to play ‘Dinosaur!’ and ‘The People That Time Forgot’, re-enacting our favourite scenes. I was always Doug McClure, while Andy played an assortment of goodies, baddies, and beasties. We would put all the cushions from the sofas onto the floor, and jump from one to the next, pretending the floor was lava. ‘You fell in, you’re out of the game!’ I would shout. ‘No I didn’t!’ Andy would reply. ‘You did! Your foot touched the lava, na na, you’re dead!’ I cried. ‘Shut up, leave me alone. I’m gonna tell mummy on you’ Andy would moan. I would then punch his arm till he cried, or we would both run straight across the lava, putting our lives at risk to get to mummy first. ‘Shut up the pair of ye, or you’ll both go to bed!’ Mummy would say.
Yes, they should have had Doug McClure in this movie. Just as the epic battle scene (which was well filmed, but not very well directed) was about to begin, he could have flown in in his plane and thrown a few stiff rights and lefts about. But alas, this was not to happen. To be fair the effects here were very good. I’ve never seen such a realistic tiger, not even at the zoo, and there were lots of exciting moments. I understand that I let myself be disappointed by expecting things from films, just like I am disappointed by life. Michael Bay would go on to direct bigger and better things, and a few members of the cast joined ER and Desperate Housewives (I think I saw Trevor in The Bill once, running away from Reg) but this is above all an entertaining, popcorn, coke, and sticky floor kind of film.
Best Scene: When all the mammoths are stampeding the mansion of the bad guys, and they all get crushed under the big hairy feet. I bet the stunt doubles were sore after that!