...but considering the minimal budget (20 million dollars American) and the genuine Mongolian (some areas so isolated that new roads had to be built to get the film crews there) locations filmed, this was a fantastic movie that was well-paced for an introduction to the life of Temudjin, who would become the Genghis Khan.
Despite the low budget, nothing in the movie looks cheaply filmed; everything looks like that of a big budget film six times more expensive, from costumes to makeup (and the craggly dirt buildup on Temudjin during his time in captivity). I don't speak Mongolian, so I can't tell whether the accents spoken are accurately Mongolian, but for an American audience, it was great for authenticity (rather than having them speak Russian or Kazakh).
The movie excels in two particular aspects which really make this one more than just a casual ancient-world flick; the battles and the people.
While Genghis Khan is demonized in the West as a barbarous conqueror, he is seen like a hero in the East, and this movie serves to show him as both and neither, making him more than just black or white, but a fully fleshed out person with ambitions to uniting all the Mongol tribes as one beneath him. He is utterly believable as a human being, fallible, and seemingly very much driven by his love for his wife and children, whom he nevertheless must leave constantly to fulfill his dream.
There is also Jamukha, who manages to be both a piggish, slothy figure, and a noble, loyal friend to Temudjin, when their dreams conflict and they become enemies, with a very painful and realistic portrayal of just why Jamukha would betray Temudjin, and his lack of joy in facing his opponent on a field of battle.
Then there's the battles. As any Ancient/Medieval war movie to be expected, it is bloody. My only annoyances in a puritanic-historian way were the suits of armor, which seemed not to be made of much metal as they would have been in Mongolian times.
Another minor thing that becomes a little excessive, and arguably rather like a recurring joke is shots of blood, showing them being spilled in thousands of thick drops rather than in fountains or bursts of liquid.
The final battle sequence manages to both utilize the Mongolian expertise in archery and cavalry and innovate with something both insanely risky and never before seen in Medieval battle depictions. Likely seen in the trailer, as Jamukha sends the bulk of his cavalry force at Temudjin's center, he unleashes a very small number of thickly armored cavalry, armed with double curves swords, which then rush through the enemy cavalry, using the swords to slash at the enemy's sides like Scythed Chariots.
The armored cavalry is a kamikaze force, as after brutalizing the enemy cavalry, Temudjin has his archers unleash a flood of arrows on the force, killing the cavalry on both sides down to a man.
Overall a great movie, which doesn't sacrifice the macro-story of Genghis Khan and his dream of a Mongol empire for the micro-story of Temudjin's love life. Of which I wrote virtually nothing about.