If you’re looking for some unpretentious and refreshing fun, Year One is the perfect movie for you. Driven by Jack Black’s and Michael Cera’s hilarious performances, it’s a fun ride through the dawn of humanity. We will be following 2 hunter/gatherers as they embark on an adventure of a lifetime. This concept of ancient comedy is nothing new. I remember watching the French comedy RRRrrrr!!! several years although the movie did not hold up on a second viewing. You also have Mel Brook’s History of the World and all the Monty Python movies.
To me, Year One was just too directionless, relying on its two leads to generate all the humor. There was a lot of improvisation and Jack Black constantly tried to make something happen. Sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t. The parts that were scripted were quite good and those jokes worked. It’s very important to get into this movie with a positive mindset. You know it’s not going to be the greatest but the cast and the plot itself make Year One a movie worth watching. Especially since there aren’t many comedies about this period of human history.
The director is none other than Harold Ramis, the same guy who wrote Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. And immediately critics started comparing Year One to all of these classics. This is why it’s got such a bad rep because it’s not as good. However, if you’re looking for a brainless comedy featuring an original setting, you’ve just found it. And the cast was simply sublime. Apart from our gruesome twosome, we’ve also got Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, and Vinnie motherfucking Jones.
My biggest complaint is that this is a PG-13 movie. This means there won’t be any raunchy jokes, nudity, or things of that nature. Sometimes they’ll suggest them, never crossing the line, which I found a bit silly. I think this would’ve been a much better movie if they decided on a balls-out approach. At least they parodied the bible, so there’s that. And don’t worry, everything was on the up and up, and there were no offensive jokes. Monty Python’s Life of Brian still remains the best religious comedy.
Finally, I just want to add that the budget for the movie was $60 million. This means that the production values were pretty good with solid sets, costumes, and other details. And the supporting cast includes the likes of Olivia Wilde, Paul Rudd, and Xander Berkeley. Even the director, writer, and producer of this movie, Harold Ramis appears in the role of Adam. Before I go, I just have to say that if you’re looking for movies like Year One, check out much better Land of the Lost starring Will Ferrell.
Director: Harold Ramis
Writers: Harold Ramis, Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg
Cast: Jack Black, Michael Cera, Oliver Platt, David Cross, Vinnie Jones, Hank Azaria
Fun Facts: Several scenes featuring the character of Noah played by Stanley Tucci were cut from the film after the failure of Evan Almighty, a year prior.