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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate
12A
Cast
Jack Black
Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Vinnie Jones
Michael Cera
Oliver Platt
Juno Temple
David Cross.
Directors
Screenwriters
Running Time
97 minutes

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Year One
Apparently, God asked for an Alan Smithee...


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Plot
In a Paleolithic kinda-Eden live brash hunter Zed (Black) and sensitive gatherer Oh (Cera). But, after Zed eats forbidden fruit and accidentally burns down their village, he and Oh are exiled, leading them on a journey towards Sodom — via a few biblical incidents.


Review
Year One
Browse more images »
Harold Ramis has been honest about the influences on his Old Testament road-trip comedy Year One. Firstly, an improvisation he himself staged more than three decades ago, in which Bill Murray played Cro-Magnon man and John Belushi Neanderthal man. Secondly, Mel Brooks’ 2000 Year Old Man skit. Two things are clear from the result. One, that this film is certainly more Mel Brooks (specifically The History Of The World, Part I) than another obvious influence, Monty Python’s Life Of Brian. Two, that Jack Black and Michael Cera are no Murray and Belushi.

As rubbish hunter-gatherers, the pair are required only to riff on personae they’ve long since worn out: Black’s eyebrow-jiggling, horny loudmouth, and Cera’s querulous, knowing naïf. Which wouldn’t be so problematic if they’d been energised by a decent script. Instead, they’re required to respectively bug out and nervously pigeon-step through a series of sub-SNL sketches that deny the guest stars (Paul Rudd, David Cross, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Hank Azaria…) as many laughs as themselves, relying more on gross-out humour than any alleged religious satire.

So we have Black licking poo; Cera sharing a bed with a flatulent manchild; Cera oiling up a fat, hairy, grotesque-gay-stereotype priest (Oliver Platt); and Cera pissing copiously on his own face. There’s also an embarrassing vein of limp sex-comedy, which, like every Carry On, is obsessed with the pursuit of coitus but shies away from presenting the act itself.

Where, then, is the satirical bite? If you’re going to locate your comedy at the birth of the Abrahamic religions, you should try to do better than a circumcision gag. But Ramis’ script is toothless, mustering up little more than a vague ‘religion (at least the kind that involves burning virgins) is bad, go do your own thing’ message. Ramis should have concerned himself with the film’s continuity and internal logic. Here’s a good one: what happened to the snake, which one moment is constricting Cera and the next has disappeared, never to be mentioned again? Answers on a stone tablet, please.


Verdict
Unless you pine for second-tier Mel Brooks, you’ll find more laughs in the Old Testament itself.


Reviewed by Dan Jolin


Related Reviews
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Year One
 

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Year One
Empire Star Rating

Year One

When I first discovered Jack Black it was as one half of the awesomeness that is Tenacious D. Loved him in the D. What he is now doing in Hollywood, I hope is fund raising for KG and himself to work on a few more albums because some of the roles he is taking is making himself out to be exactly the role he plays in Tropic Thunder. A fart joke guy. Maybe he wants to the funny guy to kids, maybe they seem like a good idea at the time or whatever but this isn't good. It's Jack Black playing THAT guy... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mymatebone at 14:48, 08 May 2010 | Report This Post


Lame

The lovely Juno Temple aside this is a total flop and not funny in the slightest. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 12:54, 19 December 2009 | Report This Post


Lame

The lovely Juno Temple aside this is a total flop and not funny in the slightest. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Caster at 12:54, 19 December 2009 | Report This Post


shame

just not funny. end of. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jemba at 22:16, 12 November 2009 | Report This Post


shame

just not funny. end of. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jemba at 22:16, 12 November 2009 | Report This Post


shame

just not funny. end of. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jemba at 22:16, 12 November 2009 | Report This Post


shame

just not funny. end of. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jemba at 22:16, 12 November 2009 | Report This Post


shame

just not funny. end of. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by jemba at 22:16, 12 November 2009 | Report This Post


Year One

A few funny moments but i was disappointed by the whole film, it wasn't Jack Black's and Michael Cera's best performance stick to what you know guys,. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by deppfanatic at 20:36, 02 October 2009 | Report This Post


ENJOYABLE ENOUGH DAFT COMEDY

Year One at no point ever threatens to be intelligent or serious, it's just actors having fun with the material that their given to work with, and in this respect Black and Cera etc I found to be pretty enjoyable to watch, giving more of a panto feel rather than a movie. If you enjoyed the likes of Robin Hood: Men In Tights style comedy then add a star, you will enjoy this. Just switch off, expect nothing from it and enjoy what your given. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by CIRVIRUS64 at 02:28, 07 July 2009 | Report This Post


This should walk of with a number of razzie awards this year. Simply horrid ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Countlopez at 13:14, 29 June 2009 | Report This Post


This should walk of with a number of razzie awards this year. Simply horrid ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Countlopez at 13:14, 29 June 2009 | Report This Post


what the hell!! this movie is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bobfred12 at 09:33, 28 June 2009 | Report This Post


Worst film i have ever seen. Period.

Empire, empire, empire, you didnt give one positive remark in your review of 'Year One', so why give it 2 stars???????!!!!!!!! It is the worst film i have ever seen. Didnt laugh once and i honestly thought it was going to be good. Stupid gross out 'humour' Ach, im not going to say anymore. Dont waste your money on this piece of sh*t! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by marty_mcfly84 at 00:34, 27 June 2009 | Report This Post


RE: RE:

Quite poss one of the worst films ive seen at the cinema. it just wasnt funny almost at all. a few sniggers here and there do not make a comedy.I like dumb comedy, i like tits and fart jokes but this jesus it just didnt workl in any way. Its a d movie comedy from the asylum fold but with A list stars! I like jack black he's prob the best thing in this but all he's doing is jack black but in a caveman costume, thats it!! Michael cera wow i liked him in superbad but again this is his superbad... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Frank Castle at 17:01, 26 June 2009 | Report This Post


RE:

Apologies for starting a new thread for this without locating this one!   Is it me or does this film look utterly rubbish Michael Cera, who I thought was excellent in Juno, looks like he's become a parody of the nervous unsure teen who is next in line to be ripe for satire from the "Not Another Teen Movie (etc)" team. I quite like Jack Black, but if I see his raised eyebrow in an "OOH YEAAAH I'M INTENSE!!!!" expression again I may scream. All in all, it just looks like a lo... More

Posted by BishopQuaker at 23:40, 23 June 2009 | Report This Post


i knew this would suck ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by bleugh07 at 22:16, 23 June 2009 | Report This Post


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