Sunday, June 21, 2009
Movie Reviews: YEAR ONE
When a couple of lazy hunter-gatherers (Black and Cera) are banished from their primitive village, they set off on an epic journey through the ancient world.
Cast: Jack Black, Michael Cera, Oliver Platt, David Cross, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Vinnie Jones, Hank Azaria, Juno Temple, Olivia Wilde
Director: Harold Ramis
Opened June 19, 2009
Runtime: 1 hr. 40 min.
Rated PG-13 for brief strong language, crude and sexual content and comic violence
Genres: Prehistoric Fantasy, Comedy
Year One is an utterly disappointing hodgepodge of lowest common denominator humor which relies on Jack Blacks buffoonery way too much for its own good. The lack of ineptitude in handling what is an intriguing if somewhat familiar concept, Monty Python’s classic Life of Brian is far better, is surprising because of the pedigree of the people behind the camera and the script. Harold Ramis sloppy direction and even sloppier script, which he co wrote, makes this film a chore to trudge through as it lacks anything consistently funny. We are given fart, pee and shit jokes which might amuse some kids under 15 but not really anyone else. Jack Black is front and center here and his tired act is grating through most of the film as we watch him act like an overfed kid one a sugar high through out. The supporting cast is much stronger but sadly the filmmakers don’t give them too much screen time. Michael Cera does the best he can with the weak script and funnier than his counter part mainly because he understands the concepts of comic timing and subtlety. David Cross is good fun as Cain and his scene with Paul Rudd, as Abel, is an early highlight. The reliable Hank Azaria is fairly impressive as Abraham even if he’s only given a bad running joke to work with. The remaining supporting cast is mostly forgettable and they mostly just wander through their scenes aimlessly much like the plot. Story wise there isn’t much rhyme or reason to the proceeding and sometimes things just happen and abruptly end with no resolution. Year One might give you a few giggles here and there but never more than that. It’s a shame because handled correctly it could have been a fun ride through prehistory like the 80’s Caveman or the aforementioned Life of Brian, as it is you’d be best served renting either of those film if your looking for a laugh.