August 27, 2010
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Director: Harold Ramis
Writer: Harold Ramis/Gene Stupnitsky/Lee Eisenberg
Producers: Harold Ramis/Judd Apatow/Clayton Townsend
Starring: Jack Black/Michael Cera/Vinnie Jones/David Cross/Hank Azaria
BBFC Certification: 12
Duration: 107 minutes
Jack Black and Michael Cera have done some great movies in the past. Between them, they’ve had Juno, School of Rock, Superbad and Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny and now they’ve teamed up to star in Year One. So in Year One, two lazy hunter-gatherers Zed and Oh are banished from their village for not doing anything for their tribe and eating the forbidden fruit and travel on a journey to find their place in the world. When you’re watching Year One, don’t expect to be having belly-laughs because you’ll just titter or giggle at best, there’s nothing hilarious about the movie but it does have its moments even though there are very few. The story has a couple of good points such as mixing prehistoric events with biblical references with a comical twist to it but the problem is that this feels like it’s force-feeding you humour in huge doses and tries way too hard to be funny almost entirely through the movie. The characters weren’t diabolical nor were they good, they were just below average and the reason for this is that there’s nothing interesting about them and they simply didn’t stand out, they just blended in. The character development in the movie was very forced and felt like it made the leap too quick with most of its characters. The only character that truly ever did have proper character development is Oh but the rest of them were always the same.
Year One had some wobbly moments but none more so than the performances from the actors and actresses of the movie. While Jack Black looked like he was having a great time, the same can not be said for the rest of the cast, as most of them looked either bored or half-asleep. Even though he plays the same role as the geeky yet loveable guy in almost every movie, Michael Cera was very average but as the movie progresses, he got better and in the end, he was the best actor out of the cast which came to no surprise. Jack Black gave out an energetic performance as Zed but falls into the same spell as Michael Cera as he’s just playing the same role, which is the class clown or the funny guy. It’s not a problem that he plays the same role but it’s a problem when he doesn’t add much to his character. There were times when there were funny parts to his character but after half an hour, you pretty much guess what his character is going to be like all the way through the movie. Vinnie Jones, however, was truly awful in this movie and he looked so bored and fed up, it felt like he didn’t want to be in the movie at all. The writing and direction is very mediocre, it weren’t good nor bad, just very forgettable. There were a few moments where the movie picked up and made you laugh a little but sooner or later, it dropped back down to being tedious and rather repetitive at times. The dialogue is just as bad as there were a couple of okay moments but it was mostly boring and unfunny.
Year One tries to be a funny comedy movie way too hard and tries to stand out from the crowd but in the end fails to be even memorable. Jack Black and Michael Cera aren’t bad as their characters but I would hope that in the future, they would both do a totally different movie together as I think they would be a good comedy duo if they were in the right kind of movie. What I said about the writing and direction could be said about the entire movie, it’s not good or bad but it’s instantly forgettable. It’s not a bad comedy movie but if you’re looking for a hysterical movie, then I wouldn’t recommend this to you, I would tell you to watch Monty Python instead. I would only recommend this to people who like silly slapstick humour or parody movies.