Rabid Reviews: Year One (Theatrical & Unrated Edition)

Directed by: Harold Ramis
Screenplay by: Harold Ramis, Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenburg
Running time: 97 minutes
Rated: Not Rated

Main characters: Jack Black, Michael Cera, Oliver Platt, David Cross, Juno Temple, June Diane Raphael

Being written and directed by Harold Ramis who is the comic genius behind Ghostbusters, Caddyshack, and Groundhog’s Day to name a few, plus using such co-writers as Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenburg from The Office, this movie sets itself up for sheer comic brilliance. Not to mention it’s leading players, Jack Black, Michael Cera, Oliver Platt, and David Cross; one would think they were in for a “laugh fest“. It’s a pity this movie was just a hodgepodge of mediocre writing, and a pointless storyline.

It’s the story of two primitive tribesmen, Zed (Jack Black) the unsuccessful hunter, and Oh (Michael Cera) the emotional gatherer. They are the tribe misfits, but what more can you expect from two guys who’s names mean zero! Zed is vying for the attention of Maya (June Diane Raphael), who is looking for someone who can provide a little more than what Zed has to offer. And, Oh has his eyes set on Eema (Juno Temple), Zeds very pretty, very popular little sister.

Zed, feeling there’s more to life than hunting and gathering, decides to eat an apple from the “Tree of Knowledge”. He learns very quickly that the rest of the tribe is not pleased and he’s banished forever. After a disaster with fire, Oh is forced to join Zed on his search for life’s meaning. Along the way they discover that their former tribe has been captured as slaves and the rest of the movie is spent trying to free Eema and Maya.

During their not so epic journey, they meet Cain and Able, Abraham and Isaac, and ultimately end up in the biblical city of Sodom.

Jack Black’s (Tropic Thunder, School of Rock) performance as Zed still couldn’t begin to salvage the horrible material he was given to work with. He managed a few humorous moments, but this delightfully funny man, was just left without the funny.

Michael Cera (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) as Oh, was exactly the same as all of the other characters he’s played. He was excellent in Superbad, and good in Juno. After that, his awkward form of comedy just got old. This guy is capable of so much more than he brings to the table and I would love to see more range to his acting abilities. There was one scene in the movie where the tribe was doing some form of mating dance, and watching Oh dance for Eema was one of the very few times I laughed out loud. Although I prefer Black to Cera, it was Cera that pulled more laughs from me during this painful debauchery.

David Cross (Arrested Development) played the biblical character Cain, the murderous brother of Abel (cameo by Paul Rudd). He was mostly annoying more than anything else.

Oliver Platt (Three To Tango, Lake Placid), Sodom’s High Priest, was the best part of the movie. This man has yet to play a character that I haven’t enjoyed. The scenes between him and Cera were the scenes that received the most laughter from me. Platt did a lovely job with the horny, man loving priest he portrayed.

I was actually looking forward to seeing this movie because of the plethora of comedians headlining the cast, peppered with several cameos by comedy actors. I was expecting to get lost in laughter for about an hour and a half. I was egregiously misled…. This movie was full of enough crappy biblical, and sexual jokes to sink Noah’s Ark. The scenes were disjointed and the plot…who am I kidding there was no plot…I can’t even say that it was terrible because it wasn’t even there! Now keep in mind, I loved Superbad, Knocked Up, and Zack and Miri Make Porno, so it’s not that I don’t like dirty humor. This movie was just bad. This is one movie that I will not recommend. It left me staring at the credits when it was over thinking, “What in the hell did I just watch?”

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