Cast: Jack Black, Michael Cera
Direction: Harold Ramis
The first reaction is that of utter disbelief. Could Harold Ramis, who once directed side-splittingly funny movies like Groundhog Day (1993) and Analyze This (1999), be responsible for such dross as Year One? If this raucous biblical romp represents the future of Hollywood comedy, it’s perhaps time to consider outsourcing the genre someplace where they still value wit, sophistication and hearty laughter.
Throwing good taste by the wayside, Ramis lampoons ancient religious tenets and mankind’s perennial hankering for a messiah. Jack Black and Michael Cera play cavemen buddies who are banished from their tribe for recurring misdemeanours.
Wandering the desert the duo steps into history. They encounter various biblical figures from Cain and Abel to Abraham and Isaac. Forget about guffaw-out-loud moments; viewers are more likely to feel the pain of anguish at the dimwits’ shenanigans in the city of Sodom.
Besides the dire shortage of chuckles, the screenplay brims with sexual innuendo and smutty situations. The talented Jack Black hardly seems to be in form, almost as if he wasn’t convinced about his role. In the event, Michael Cera steals the show as the nebbish friend who can’t fend for himself.
In the supporting role of the hairy high priest, veteran character actor Oliver Platt hits a career low point. As for the women on the scene, they look and behave as if they were in urgent need of acting lessons. Even the end credits outtakes are humourless.
In a word, avoid.