US Release Date: 06-19-2009
Directed by: Harold Ramis
- Jack Black, as
- Michael Cera, as
- Oliver Platt, as
- High Priest
- David Cross, as
- Paul Rudd, as
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse, as
- Vinnie Jones, as
- Hank Azaria, as
- Juno Temple, as
- Olivia Wilde, as
- Princess Inanna
- June Diane Raphael, as
- Harold Ramis as
Just because Judd Apatow produces a movie, does not automaticaly make it funny.
Year One is part Wholly Moses, only not as funny. It is part 10,000 BC, only not as action packed. It is part Superbad only without the sincere friendship.
Black and Cera play two neanderthal misfit best friends, Zed and Oh. Black is a hunter, but he is far more dangerous to his fellow hunters than any wild game. Cera is a gatherer. An early scene has a hunter knock over his basket of fruit to which Cera deadpans, “Well there won't be any berries in the fruit salad now, so we all lose.” Both get banned from their tribe when Zed eats the fruit from the forbidden tree.
They come across Cain and Able, and witness the murder. They meet Abraham about to kill his son on an alter. Azaria as Abraham, goes on and on about circumcisions. Finally the dull duo get to Sodom, where Zed is seen as a chosen one, while Oh has to fend off amorous advances of a very hairy priest, who likes him to rub oil all over his furry body. At one point Zed finds Oh with gobs of hair stuck to his palms. He asks if all of that came from the priest’s chest? Oh responds, “Mostly.”
The best this movie has to offer is a few dick jokes. When Zed asks Oh to be his right hand man, Oh says, “I've seen what you do with your right hand. No, thank you.” When talking to a hot girl, Zed says, “I'm sorry. I wasn't listening. All my brain blood was in my boner.”
Cera and Black have zero chemistry together. They do not bounce of each other well. Black is loud and frantic while Cera is somber and sarcastic. At no point did I care what happened to either of them. The blame for this disaster falls to director and screenwriter Ramis, who sets the movie up more as a series of poorly connected sketches than an actual story arc. One scene has Cera with a snake around his neck, but then skips to him doing something else. Another scene has a mountain lion jump on Cera, only to jump to another scene where Black is commenting on his scratches, that we the audience are never shown.
Instead of watching Year One, I would recommend Wholly Moses, Superbad or even 10,000 BC. That is right, the ridiculously implausible 10,000 BC is a better movie than this lackluster, uninspired mess.
Really, really not funny.
I will admit to laughing a couple of times during this movie. Michael Cera's deadpan delivery is worth a few chuckles even though this is the exact same character that he's played in every movie he's ever appeared in. Range isn't his strong suit. Likewise Jack Black plays his stock character of the loud, obnoxious, wild guy, only by now his schtick has grown quite old and he doesn't generate any laughs at all.
Too many of the jokes rely on simply being gross. Peeing while hanging upside down and eating shit aren't really my cup of tea, but apparently Harold Ramis thinks they're hilarious.
I completely agree with you about Black and Cera, Eric. You might expect that the calm nerdy one and the crazy extrovert might create some comic chemistry, but they really don't generate any sparks. The characters don't generate any emotion for each other and the “story” certainly doesn't generate any emotion for the audience.
You mention Wholly Moses Eric, but I also thought of Life of Brian and History of the World Part 1, both of which are infinitely funnier and better than this piece of celluloid crap. I also know that expecting any kind of accuracy from this movie is ludicrous, but as those other movies managed to be both funny and at least somewhat accurate and this movie isn't funny or accurate (with cavemen appearing alongside characters from the book of Genesis and Cain meeting Abraham and Isaac), it could have at least tried for accuracy.
Despite the fact that I did laugh a few times, I really can't think of one good reason for anyone to watch this movie. Okay, maybe if you really hated somebody you might offer to show them it as a means of torture, but that's about the only reason I can think of.
Photos © Copyright Columbia Pictures (2009)