Quest for Fire Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 6, 2011
This is one of the coolest, most interesting, and unique films that I've seen in quite some time, possibly (maybe) ever. To simply, this is a feature length version of the "Dawn of Man" segment from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It takes places (likely) in what is now Europe, only 80,000 years in the past.

The main story follows a trio of neanderthal tribesman tasked with going on a journey to find fire and bring it back to their tribe after the fire that they had been using and protecting tragically gets extinguished. This would all be simpler if they were more advanced and could make the fire themselves, but at least they're more developed than one of the other tribes depicted in the film.

The story is quite simple, but there's so much more to it than that. Besides being a basic man versus nature survival story, it's also very human and deep, and traces the development of man into a less primitive state of being. Four tribes are depicted in the film, all of them in various stages of development, and each with their own set of values, culture, and language or communication abilities.

The story starts out as interesting, and only gets even more so from there as the trio's journey takes them to places that alter their world forever. Yes, you do have to suspend disbelief, and sometimes the material comes off as a bit hokey, but you actually really care about the characters, and are just as delighted as they are when they make new discoveries, even if it is something as simple as learning the concept of laughter.

This is a really fascinating film, and it feels like a pretty high water mark to me. Some of it got a little slow for me in a couple of places, but that aside, there's not much (that I'm personally aware of) wrong with it. I thought it was pretty realistic, and well researched, and I liked that it was rather artsy and that the film had no narration (outside of an opening crawl) or real language or subtitles, forcing the viewer to follow things solely based on music cues, facial expressions, actions, and body language.

As far as acting goes, it's pretty damn good. This was probably more challenging than it might seem, but everyone does a wonderful job. At the time, none of the cast were known, but that has changed for two of them: Ron Perlman and Rae Dawn Chong. The makeup and effects are pretty decent, though I think Perlman might have been too authentic (sorry bud, I love you and your unique look, but that's probably why the types of roles you get are generally pretty limited.

All in all, this is some tremendous stuff, and it's definitely great at provoking thought and discussion. Unfortunately I don't think some people would be mature enough to handle this without giggling, and it's not for all tastes anyway, but I do think it's one that everyone should see.
Super Reviewer
September 6, 2010
A stupid artsy type of movie without any real dialogue or story. I didn't get it! I hate this movie, and I do not recommend seeing it.
Super Reviewer
½ November 16, 2007
Lots of different types of humans fight each other for fire. I decided Ron Perlman isn't wearing makeup.
Super Reviewer
½ January 31, 2008
Very unique. There's nothing like it.
Super Reviewer
½ August 17, 2007
Weird movie with real-live cave people, and their daily struggles.
Super Reviewer
May 29, 2007
What a cool film. I stayed away from this for years thinking it would be dull with so little dialogue. Au contraire! Held my attention completely. Rae Dawn Chong was excellent, as was Ron Perlman, although (bless his heart) he doesn't really need all that much makeup to play a caveman. But I like him. Fun movie.
Super Reviewer
December 4, 2007
Grittier than Clan of the Cave Bear. You must have a stronger stomach to watch this one. But, oh, the journey the main characters take. It's awesome to think of these early people and the lessons and skills they learned toward becoming modern man. This one does show that the characters have more fear but that is because they encounter more varied dangerous obstacles. Still the main characters in both movies use their heads and the groups do not despair because of fear, but instead will move forward because of our ways of dealing with being "frightened and ignorant and vulnerable and bewildered."
Super Reviewer
½ January 14, 2013
Visually, "Quest for Fire" is an ugly film, and that's not just because all that it captures are filthy Neanderthals. The cinematography is drab and muddled and the idea of shot composition seems to have been ignored almost entirely. Whether this technique is intentional or not is beside the point; it makes the movie hard to watch. It's cool that there's an actual movie about cavemen and their discovery of fire, but it's hard to make unintelligent characters like these interesting or even close to likable. The locations are beautiful and the makeup is amazing, but I personally don't find much of interest in "Quest of Fire." It's a respectable work that I imagine some will grow to love; I'm just not one of those people.
Super Reviewer
½ September 4, 2008
The sole "prehistoric movie" to assemble the human instinct on species still immature of their physical identity.Warriors,mammals,united or separated,it's a pretty engaging motion picture by Annaud,so don't even bother watching Emmerich's blockbuster atrocity.
Super Reviewer
½ November 24, 2007
A great film!
May 14, 2008
With a realistic feel to the film, this movie about three prehistoric tribesman looking for fire to bring back to their tribe is amazing. An oscar winning film with a poetic intensity to it. A very great film!!!!!!!!!!!!!
½ May 13, 2008
This movie really caught me by surprise, because I never expected how GOOD it would be. I had always wanted to see it since it came out, but I was not allowed due to it's supposed graphic nature... in a way it does have some, but it is very precise in doing so.

Anyway, to my surprise one of my favorite authors, Anthony Burgess, the embodiment of a true linguist, is who created the languages in this film. Not surprising since he also created Nasdat for the A Clockwork Orange novel. This made the film a lot more enjoyable.

Although the story is not historically accurate, it is in fact a good example of how to work with a very difficult story and in a very visual way, the premise of what film is... a visual art first and foremost
½ March 8, 2011
I remember being a little kid and my parents rented this movie to watch on the new VCR. Then can the streamside love making, and little kids were excused from the room. I saw some of it later in life, but never sat through the whole thing until recently. And I am glad I finally did. This is an amazing work of filmmaking in its uncompromising sense of storytelling. This is not a great movie, but it is a great feat of filmmaking.

The story does not move fast and the humor throughout really dilutes the dramatic end, which seemed very slapstick. But this is an interesting movie that is fun to watch as a scenic ride more than anything.
½ February 6, 2010
Pretty good movie. I'm a bit curious as to how the clan of cannibals was able to survive. I saw no cannibal women. If they're leaving kids with women from other tribes then how does that strengthen the cannibal tribe?
Also, the scene with Mammoths seemed a bit wonky. I'd think the mammoths would be used to having spears tossed at them so how can they let a humanoid come near?
October 7, 2009
They dont even have to talk for this to be a great movie!
Noone talks at all but you understand what they are saying!
September 20, 2008
What was the point of this movie? What was this? I had no idea what was going on. I hate these types of movies.
½ November 28, 2008
Potentially intriguing, at times downright silly. With a strong interest in early hominids and pre-historic times, I found this film confusing and inaccurate.

However, as a story, it is well done with our characters (neanderthals, homo sapiens or whatever they may be) fighting off wolves, lions, and bears, encountering mammoths, and discovering the missionary postion and humor. A true human expirience :-P
November 19, 2007
I measure this film on the same level as 2001: A Space Odyssey. Scientific Realism.
Although prehistoric, this is the most logical conclusion.

I find it humorous that some people find this movie's sexual themes gratuitous or something to laugh about. I don't think it was the director's intent to just throw in these sexual themes merely for titillation. The point of this film is clear.

Think about it!
IT, being Man's basic needs; Procreation being one, next to shelter and food and the ultimate point of the film being about fire and our need for it.

While this movie didn't have any dialog, it's very easy to see what is actually going on.

If you see nothing but rape or sexual content in this film then you have some real problems psychologically and need to seek help.
October 4, 2008
I've always had a place in my heart for films about prehistoric times, no matter how hokey the film might be. This one was thought-provoking. I liked the look they gave Rae Dawn Chong. A Halloween costume idea for me. This is a better than average cave people film.
August 18, 2008
I liked the different species of early man. The 2001 monkeys, Planet of the apes...etc. It'll be interesting learning how historically correct the timeline was. Ron Perlman is great. So were Foo Fighters:)
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