Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Year One Should Have Stayed In The Stone Age

Sometimes a movie comes along that makes you scratch your head, wondering why it was made, who thought that or even why a talented man like Harold Ramis would think that even one of the jokes in the movie would be funny. Such is the case with the new so called comedy "Year One" the tale of two men from the stone age who some how meet biblical characters and not only interact with them but become a part of their lives. a minor plot contrivance.

When the village fool, I mean hunter, Zed, (Jack Black) son of Zero eats from the forbidden fruit tree, he is forced out of the village. The slight Adam and Eve reference here, is made tongue in cheek style, the film doesn't make any other slight references, they beat us senseless with their ideas from here on in. Along for the ride is a gatherer, Oh (Michael Cera) who is at one point seen being strangled by a boa constrictor and another being attacked by a large predatory cat, then inexplicable after each scene, is next shown whining to Zed, if this was intended as a run on gag it is completely wasted because it is dropped after the second time. The two men travel the country looking to start another village of their own, Zed leaves behind the woman he loves, Maya (June Diane Raphael) and a sister, Eema (Juno Temple) who is the love interest of Oh. After Zed and Oh leave the village it is raided and many of its inhabitants taken as slaves to be sold in town, so yes Zed and Oh have many opportunities to save the female leads.

Along the way, walking the countryside, one that Oh thinks will end at a certain point leaving the duo to just fall off the planet, they meet Cain (David Cross) and Abel (Paul Rudd) then agree to go to the home of Cain's family, even though they watch in horror as he brains Abel to death, OVER AND OVER again. Here they are confronted by Cain's father (Harold Ramis) and later are forced to flee the village with Cain, who later sells the duo into slavery. They are purchased along with Eema and Maya of course, and along the way to their new destination they are saved from this fate by a band of royal guards led by Sargon (Vinnie Jones) they run into the desert when the guards attack, of course this leaves the two to wander the country to meet another biblical duo, Abraham (Hank Azaria) who is about to sacrifice his son Isaac (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), we are treated to several circumcision jokes before the two leave (run) from the town. Here the movie becomes as unbearable as humanly possible, the jokes are stale, how many gay jokes, fart jokes and circumcision jokes does it take to make a person want to leave, this movie will answer that question.

Of course the duo save the day, save the girls and become heroes, why or better yet how? Well lets just say its better to not ask, this movie has nothing going for it, the talents are wasted here, Michael Cera who is an up and coming star shouldn't attach himself to projects such as this one, as far as jack Black goes, well we are used to seeing him stumble his way through movies, and here he doesn't disappoint if you can even say that. He mutters his lines and acts as if he wants out of the picture, he isn't the only one, I wanted out of the screening too.

The one true highlight of the evening was seeing Harold Ramis being honored by TBS for his contribution to film making, not only as a star of such movies like Stripes and Ghostbusters but also for his writing, producing and directing. The man was greeted by applause from a full theatre after a short retrospective of his career was shown, he was given the life time achievement award and then spoke for a few minutes. Then the movie was shown, I for one wanted more of the retrospective and less of Year One.

I give Year One a 0 and on my avoidance scale a 4, I think I may create an even higher avoidance scale number for movies as bad as this one is. I can just tell you that in all honesty there is nothing that makes this movie worth seeing, let alone spending the money on it.

Year One is rated PG-13 for Crude and Sexual Content Throughout, Brief Strong language and Comic Violence
Running time is 1 hr. 40 mins.

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