Published Jun 18, 2009Although Year One isn't exactly fall-out-of-your-chair hilarious, it does present some talented comedic flair by director Harold Ramis. With a screenplay by Ramis, as well as Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg (The Office), the film offers quite a few one-liners and slapstick scenes that are so ridiculous it can't help but be entertaining, unintelligently so, but funny nonetheless.
Year One is a trip through Biblical times where Zed, the village goof (played by Jack Black) gets cast out for eating from Adam and Eve's famous forbidden Tree of Knowledge. Along with him goes his reluctant sidekick Oh, played by Michael Cera, who's had the same role since 2007's Superbad: the uncool, awkward kid who broods over his main aspiration of getting "the girl."
Following their banishment, the two Neanderthals set forth on an epic adventure and find themselves entangled in some well-known religious events. Year One pokes fun at a few of the Bible's more eminent tales, including Cain and Able, Abraham and his son Isaac, as well as the blasphemous city of Sodom.
The supreme comedic performance in the film, however, isn't by Black or Cera but by Oliver Platt, who plays the High Priest in Sodom. In a film with a predictable plot and idiotically inept characters, a scene with Platt, a very hairy chest, Cera as his manservant and large amounts of rubbing oil is utterly unforgettable.
But in comparison to Ramis's masterworks (Caddyshack and Groundhog Day), Year One falls incredibly short. What makes the film an okay watch, however, is the cast of comically great actors, such as Hank Azaria as Abraham and Christopher Mintz-Plasse as his son Isaac.
Year One is a good laugh with a main theme of male camaraderie but it's unfortunately not a work of historic comedic brilliance. (Sony)