Review by Jason Donner
I'm a little shocked that Year One exists. The fact that it takes several months if not years to complete a movie from scripting to filming to editing, you would think that someone - anyone - would have raised a red flag, tapped the director on the shoulder, killed themselves, or in some way or form raised serious concerns that the motion picture that so much time and effort was being poured into was a completely worthless steaming pile of camel poo. But no... Apparently, no one spoke up and the movie trudged along with a budget that probably could have bought every starving child in Somalia a hamburger. Instead of giving a single moment of happiness to millions, it has brought a dark veil of boredom on us all.
Year One shouldn't exist. It should have been stopped at some point or at least heavily reworked. The fact that this movie reached theaters in its current form indicates a severe chain of failures in the system of common sense that should tell people if something is a bad idea.
Jack Black and Michael Cera play cavemen (or should I say, hutmen?) in early history. Banned from their village for eating forbidden fruit, they wander through biblical times coming across Cain and Abel, Isaac and Jacob, and the city of Sodom and Gomorra attempting to save their former village-mates who have been sold into slavery.
On paper, this sounds like a fantastic idea. With so many bible stories ripe for the pickings, it's easy to see why this movie was written, but none of them are exploited in the way they should be. Year One is like a bad season of Saturday Night Live - and I'm talking a really bad season like when Anthony Michael Hall was a cast member.
Year One seems to thrive on the fact that Jack Black is fat and Michael Cera is a wuss and doesn't really confront the actors with anything more than that to work from. Every now and then, you might find yourself chuckling at a muttered line in Black and Cera's endless rambling dialogue of bitching and moaning, but the majority of it comes off as dull and lifeless like hanging out with two guys who think that they are wittier than they actually are. These characters aren't people you care about or even want to root for.
This movie commits the ultimate cardinal sin and it's not blasphemy (which the movie doesn't even have the brass tacks to go for). It's the mere fact that it's not funny and any comedy that isn't funny is an unmitigated failure. Not only is there no reason for this movie to exist, but there's no reason to see it just because it does.