[rating: 1.5/4]

If “Arrested Development” fans went wild over the idea of Michael Cera and Jason Bateman teaming up again in 2007’s “Juno” (the duo weren’t in a single scene together, to the disappointment of many hoping for a Michael/George Michael reunion) then the prospect of Michael Cera and David Cross actually interacting in a film “" especially with an “Arrested Development” movie looming on the horizon “" should have been enough to whip them into a frenzy.

In fact, the combination of any number of the impressive supporting cast for “Year One” should get comedy fans excited. In addition to leads Michael Cera and Jack Black, there’s Paul Rudd, David Cross, Bill Hader, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Adrian Brody, Hank Azaria, Oliver Platt, Vinnie Jones… well, you get the idea.

Directed by: Harold Ramis
Written by: Harold Ramis and Gene Stupnitsky
Starring: Jack Black, Michael Cera
Running time: 100 mins
Rating: PG-13
Seen at: Boston Common Loews

Then there is the premise: Zed (Black) and Oh (Cera) leave their woodland tribe and travel through the year one, interacting with a number of biblical stories. With the expansive cast, there was plenty of room for the script to pan out and enjoy numerous discourses with the various biblical stories. Instead, only about a few biblical stories were touched upon during the film: eating the forbidden fruit, Abraham and Jacob, Cain and Abel and Sodom and Gomorrah, to name some.

It’s not just that all of the funny parts in “Year One” are shown in the commercials (along with the majority of the plot lines), it’s that the scenes are less funny in the actual film than they are in the trailers. What seems like a great teaser for an epic comedy instead is a basic synopsis for a film that barely expands beyond the premise set up in its two minute long trailer.

“Year One” tried too hard to have a plot when it should have been a heavily comedic, somewhat episodic road movie. Relying too heavily on its leads, “Year One” let its fantastic array of supporting actors fall flat: Rudd and Brody should have had much more screen time, to name a few under-appreciated actors.

Black spends too much time being his loud obnoxious self, while Cera plays a pre-historic “" albeit funny “" version of himself. What could have been a great ensemble film along the lines of “Knocked Up” and “Anchorman” was shadowed by the star power of its two leads, and Ramis did not work hard enough to make sure his prize supporting comedians shone when they had their screen time.

Instead, “Year One” is just another mediocre comedy to come out of Judd Apatow-related production that had the potential to be something glorious but didn’t have his finishing touch.

About The Author

Terri Schwartz was a Blast Contributing Editor from 2008-2009.

3 Responses

  1. tyffanee

    you are nuts! this movie was fantastic!!!!! Both michael Cera and Jack Black were Hilarious!!! I could watch this movie every night and never be bored with it. As a matter of fact it is my favorite movie!


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