A while back, I wrote about the hope I held for “Year One,” that the film would be a good kind of stupid that’s fun to watch and not something that needs to be endured.
For the most part, I think the film delivered.
“Year One” starts off with our two cavemen heroes, Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera), trying to get two cavewomen babes, Eema (Juno Temple) and Maya (June Diane Raphael) to notice them. After an unfortunate series of events (Zed eats the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge), our heroes are kicked out of the village and must fend for themselves in the unknown world beyond.
They wander about, running into various Biblical characters (David Cross as Cain is a real treat), but once they discover that their loves have been sold into slavery in Sodom, they bravely (and foolishly) venture into the fortified city to save them.
For about an hour, this film really had me in its corner. It’s nothing special or extraordinary, but Black and Cera have comic stylings that I didn’t expect to work together but do. A lot of the Judd Apatow players show up and you can tell that they are all having a good time of this little distraction.
But that’s only the first hour of the movie. As my movie buddy pointed out (hi Jim!), the movie really slowed down once the plot kicked in.
Not too many movies will earn that criticism, but “Year One” would have been much better if it had stuck to its sketch-comedy roots and left the dumb (although at times funny) political-machinations plot to another movie.
Not unlike last week’s “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” more is less here; the last 30 minutes aren’t as painful as that movie’s third act, but I’m sure there was a better way to wrap the film up.
Better luck next time guys.
Want a different take? Check out Jim’s review.
Directed by Harold Ramis
Written by Harold Ramis, Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg
Starring: Michael Cera (Ooh)
Jack Black (Zed)
David Cross (Cain)