Harold Ramis dispensed hippie-era-tinged advice to his onscreen offspring Seth Rogen in Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up, so it seems Ramis should be considered the godfather of Apatow’s smartly profane bromantic clan. Ramis seems intent on tipping his hat to the crazy kids lovingly sampling his vibe like George Clinton getting all funked up with the Digital Underground crew in this wholly rolled up new joint.
Year One features the hyper-stylized flow of Jack Black and the more laidback comic science of Michael Cera as a pair of pre-historic dudes bum-rushing their way through the less-than-epic first era of Man.
Problems abound in this tone-deaf mix, beginning with the fact that Zed (Black) and Oh (Cera), besides being completely incompetent as hunters and gatherers — the only jobs available at the time in their village — are not even thinly disguised versions of the actors. We know these guys. We’ve seen them too many times before, as demented wrestling monks, loony Rock musicians, high-school virgins on the make and lovelorn play-listers. Enough already.
But that’s just one issue among too many to count or discuss that makes this Year drag on for what seems like decades. Ramis presents gags wrapped around biblical stories that should be funny, but there’s no point. If Year One truly documented our first year upright, then six months in we might have been extinct and I can’t say anyone who sits through this movie would argue with that. Grade: D-
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