Monday, 28 September 2020
Year One
Thursday, 25 June 2009 05:47

yearoneposterThe Pitch: Combine equal parts Jack Black and Michael Cera. Add loincloths, a healthy dose of Old Testament references, and maybe a poop joke here and there and you have Year One.

The Result: Year One doesn’t succeed in being as funny and entertaining as the combined talent behind it. With Jack Black and Michael Cera starring as prehistoric best buds, there is pretty much unlimited chance for hilarity. Behind the scenes Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters, Animal House) directs, while current reigning king of comedy Judd Apatow (40 Year Old Virgin) produces the film. With all those names involved, the expectations are bound to be about as high as the flood-waters after Noah built the arc. The movie some really funny moments but it relies a little too heavily on the talent of the cast, not enough on solid writing.

Michael Cera (Juno) is typecast once again, but he does what he does so well that I can hardly criticize him for it. He plays Oh, a deadpan, wise beyond his years teenaged Neanderthal who is the brunt of all the bullies in his tribe. Jack Black is Zed, also a member of the tribe who gets kicked out for eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Apparently the bit about “knowledge” was bull, because he certainly doesn’t grow any brain cells.Once they are booted from the tribe, the two pals venture to the city of Sodom, meeting plenty of Old Testament characters along the way.

yearonepic1There are some big name cameos including Hank Azaria as Abraham, who is obsessed with “cutting the penises” of every man and boy in the village because God told him to. “Not the whole thing, just the tip” of course. The expressions on Zed and Oh’s faces are priceless when they realize his intentions. Azaria has been on a role lately and was excellent in Night at the Museum 2 as the lisping Egyptian baddie Kahmunrah. Of course he steals all his scenes in this as well. Oliver Platt plays the effeminate High Priest in Sodom, and you can pretty much guess where that goes when he sets eyes on fresh-faced Michael Cera. Paul Rudd and David Cross play dueling brothers Cain and Abel who are not the best example of brotherly love. All in all a good cast!

yearonepic2I always find it difficult to talk about comedies in a review because they either succeed or fail to make people laugh, and humor is so subjective. What makes me laugh might make another person cringe and vice-versa. Year One is getting terrible reviews from critics, but I’m willing to bet it will do well at the box office. It’s got enough funny moments to keep the audience chuckling, and those who don’t get the sassy biblical humor will probably just laugh at the gross parts.