24 June 2009

Year One

Directed by: Harold Ramis
Written by: Harold Ramis, Gene Stupnitsky & Lee Eisenberg
Full credits at IMDb

Let’s start with the basics: why the heck is this movie called Year One? It’s set in some fantastical (read: nonsensical) conflation of prehistory and Old Testament times—two different time frames simultaneously occurring, like in a Philip K. Dick novel. Either way, we’re talking about thousands of years Before the Common Era in both cases; if it were Year One, we’d be in the dawn of time, or at least the days of Jesus, though he’s conspicuously missing from this Bible-crazy movie.

And yet another era gets folded into the film as well: the contemporary. Jack Black and Michael Cera star as exiled cavemen who meet most of the Torah’s major figures: the Tree of Knowledge, Cain and Abel, Abraham and Isaac and finally, for a superlong sequence, the residents of Sodom. (Guess if anyone makes anal sex jokes—like, over and over again.) But Black and Cera stay in their comfort zones, playing the respective Oscar and Felix types they play in everything else they’re in. (They’re like temporal travelers from 21st Century America, though no one ever mentions anything about a time machine.) The movie opens by mimicking Apocalypto—the parody so blatant that you think the “directed by” credit will go to Mel Brooks rather than Harold Ramis—another movie that anachronistically applied contemporary social dynamics to historical types. The only difference is that this movie does it consciously, for laughs. Sporadic, sporadic laughs.

Keep reading my discussion with Benjamin Sutton at The L Magazine

Watch the trailer:

1 comment:

Cool said...

I hate Harold Ramis. His movies support bullying. The guy is a shithead. IDT.