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Year One Review

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Year 1


PG 13 97 min



Well you have a choice of two hot comedies now.

The raucous and raunchy THE HANGOVER starring nobody in particular and YEAR ONE starring Jack Black and directed by comedy legend Harold Ramis, so I went with the latter, thanks to the pedigree.

First of all I like Jack Black just fine. He’s quirky and manic but charismatic and has the ability to turn a mundane role into something much cooler.

Problem is I like garlic and cayenne pepper just fine too, but like Black, it’s actually possible to use a little too much.

YEAR ONE is just about exactly what you see in the trailers, a history comedy featuring Black and Michael Cera as one overbearing and one nerdish hunter gatherers from the pre Christian era.

They’re kind of an updated and slightly caustic Laurel and Hardy in a setting not unlike Ringo Starr’s CAVEMAN.

They get no respect from the ladies in the tribe and outright scorn from the warriors and wind up as outcasts set adrift in the unknown world.

Along the way they make the acquaintance of such historical luminaries as Abraham, Cain, Abel and others from the Bible and find themselves as slaves Centurions and prophets at various times through the film.

The action follows their quest to rescue a couple hot chicks from the old village that just fortunately wound up in the same slave wagon with them.

There’s also the familiar redemption hook and they do eventually change the course of civilization. Thanks guys.

YEAR ONE’s not an unpleasant comedy though it will probably piss of more religious folks and could easily gross out some of the secular ones. It’s rated PG 13 and you can tell they used the allotment of F bombs as well as slipping an unpleasant John Waters style scene past the censors. Just think Divine and the poodle.

Black and Cera are right on target with the back and forth and there are some truly funny lines. (I laughed out loud a couple times) It’s just that the never-ending shtick is just about all there is. I think they could have used a few more strong characters to take the burden off the two stars, though Oliver Platt is good in a creepy funny sense as the gay high priest. Remember what Oxburger, Hulka, Stillman, Francis and the rest did for Bill Murray and Ramis in STRIPES.

Still it’s an entertaining hour and a half even if it isn’t up to previously high water makes set by Black and Ramis.






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