Year One (2009) Harold Ramis

Production Budget: $60 million
Gross: $45 million

Year One follows two cavemen (played by Michael Cera and Jack Black) who after eating from the tree of knowledge are banished from their tribe.  They then roam from one Bible story from another.

This is another one of those movies where I have to ask; do I even need to say ANYTHING?  You know everything that is wrong and stupid with this movie before I even open my mouth (or type these words I guess is more apt).  Where Life of Brian is a brilliantly written mockery of religion, Year One is lowest common denominator humor at its worst.  Yes, we get extended fart scenes, we get characters eating their own shit, we get gay humor, we get penis humor, and humor about pissing on your own head.  The religious humor is moronic at best.  Did you know Cain and Abel didn’t like each other?  Look, they are fighting all the time like schoolchildren!  That’s funny isn’t it?  Oh, and did you know there was sodomy at Sodom and Gemorrah?  Sodomy is funny isn’t it? *sigh* Just shoot me now.

The cast is annoying as hell.  Jack Black’s shtick has gotten very old and annoying in this movie.  Something tells me Ramis gave Black permission to ad lib all of his lines which was a bad idea.  In the best of his movies like Superbad and Juno, Michael Cera is merely annoying.  In Year One, Cera makes me want to head butt my television.  Here, he is at his most effeminate, wincing, and stuttering.  To use a line from Spill, the sound editor must have had a hell of a time between Black’s shouting and Cera’s inaudible whispers.  Maybe the biggest travesty is the movie completely wastes Oliver Platt and makes him unfunny.  I’ll say that again; Oliver Platt is completely unfunny in this movie.  I didn’t even know that was possible.  That is like saying tomorrow the sky will just be purple.

What I really don’t get is how this movie cost 60 million dollars.  This movie is literally two guys in a field farting and swapping lame lines.  There are no overly elaborate sets or massive CGI scenes.  So what the hell cost so much?  Hank Azaria in three roles?

So why did I bother with this?  I guess because I had to see how far a comedy genius could fall.  This is worse than David Zucker and An American Carol. We are talking about Harold Ramis here.  This is the man who has worked on stuff like Ghostbusters, Stripes, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, and Animal House.  This man is a comedy god to me and the fact he made this piece of shit saddens me.  My only hope is Year One was an aberration; a temporary loss of funny.  Every director has one piece of shit after all.  Here’s hoping this was a once in a career event.

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