Apparently, the rejected child scenario harkens back to 10,000 B.C. -- as attested to in this movie that unashamedly mixes millennia of time. According to the helpful voice over narrative (by Omar Sharif), D'Leh has lived his entire childhood under the shame of having his father abandon his family. Fortunately, young Evolet, who was separated from her tribe by the "four legged demons," took him under her wing and became his friend. Now, enough years have passed that D'Leh (Steven Strait) has developed a muscular body, while Evolet (Camilla Belle) has grown into a well-groomed beauty--no small feat considering she lives in a tent encampment 12 thousand years prior to hot water.
However, D'Leh's fate suddenly changes during a food-foraging expedition when this least-likely-to-succeed young man single-handedly kills a mammoth. Even Old Mother (Mona Hammond), the Yagahl tribe's prophetess, suspects the "son of a coward" may be the great hunter she has predicted will rise from their ranks, take Evolet as his companion and lead their people. Unfortunately, this happy change in D'Leh's status occurs just in time for the return of the "four legged demons." These marauders, who have learned the more-sophisticated art of riding on horseback, rampage through their camp and kidnap anyone they can get their ropes around --including Evolet.
After the dust settles, it is determined the newest Yagahl hunter will become the tribe's first warrior. Given the coveted white spear, D'Leh sets off with wise Tic'Tic (Cliff Curtis) and young Nakudu (Joel Virgel) to try and find where Evolet and the rest of their people have been taken. Their journey will lead over great mountains and into lands and civilizations the trio never knew existed. Most notable amongst their beyond-imagination discoveries is a gang they meet in the midst of the desert who look like they just finished wrapping up a National Geographic documentary. Fortunately, both factions speak English and an alliance is born.
This road trip / rescue mission combo requires you to forget anything you have ever heard about prehistoric man and the supposed absence of extensive dental work available during the caveman era. Instead the experience is best described by comparing the movie to popular video games that allow you to form warring factions from diverse eras and enjoy the anachronisms.
Artistic failings aside, the greatest reason parents would want to prohibit their developing homo sapiens from seeing this film is the frequent violence. Thankfully, firearms haven't made their way into this world, but death by beating, stoning, spearing and arrows (notice the developing technologies) are seen, along with some nasty depictions of impaling (some include blood). As well, some scenes depicting slavery show those in bondage being whipped and mistreated.
Older teens may find 10,000 B.C. entertaining, especially if viewed with a cynical eye. And one could argue the random period settings truly make this a timeless film -- but in no way a classic.