Friday, June 19, 2009

Year One

Directed by Harold Ramis
Written by Harold Ramis and Gene Stupnitsky
Starring Jack Black, Michael Cera, and David Cross

Year One is a pretty big let down. With Harold Ramis directing, Judd Apatow producing, and with Jack Black and Michael Cera starring I expected a silly but smart comedy. I didn't get that by any means. What I got was a witless comedy so lame that it felt like a Liesle Nielson spoof movie directed by a Wayans Brother. 

The story follows Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera) a hunter and gather from an "ancient tribe." After sampling from the Bibilical tree of the Knowledge of good and evil they are banished from the tribe and have to strike out on their own. They tour the landscape having random encounters with Biblical characters until they end up in Sodom. From here there is a plot point involving the "Chosen One" but it's really just a chance to make more jokes. 

There are big problems with the jokes. The first problem is that the jokes telegraph themselves from a mile away. The second problem is that they are all juvenile humor. There are characters who fart...alot. There is a scene in which a character drinks urine. There are genital jokes galore. 

However, the biggest problem with the jokes is that the funniest ones are in the trailer and TV spots. I have laughed at these jokes since the first time  I saw the trailer.  Jack Black and Michael Cera get a few laughs but only because they are funny people. They aren't playing any type of characters in the film they are just talking. It's like watching two people riffing with each other on the Tonight Show. It's entertaining but there's nothing to it. 

 Year One is just a series of sketches that never earned more than a slight chuckle.

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