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Review 'Year One': Everything About This Movie Is Bad

June 18th, 2009 9:53am EDT
Year OneI've heard this theory in the past that once a person reaches a certain age they lose their sense FOR humor. Before today I refused to believe that. Now, I have to at least take it into consideration. Let me say, I am in awe of one Mr. Harold Ramis. Acting, writing, directing... whatever. Christ, this is the man who directed "Groundhog Day"! I can honestly say this is the single hardest thing that I have ever written because I worship the ground that Harold Ramis walks on.

But, I'm sad to report, "Year One" is about enjoyable as putting in your contact lenses when, the night before, you ran out of solution and had to use water instead. It's about as enjoyable as that early morning shit the day after eating a plate of chicken wings labeled as "Atomic." Look, I just pray that dreck such as this is not what is in store for us with the rest of Mr. Ramis' career. And, you know what? I don't believe that. I almost think Ramis felt he needed to compete with the "gross out" comedies of recent years -- which is certainly not his forte ... and, OHHHH, how it shows.

The plot (HA (!) the plot) centers around Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera) being, I guess, forced to leave their ancient tribe because Zed committed the cardinal sin of taking a bite from the forbidden fruit. Oh goes with him because Zed accidentally burnt a few houses down, including Oh's, with his torch on the way out -- Zing! Maury Amsterdam would be proud. On their adventure they come across pretty much every single person that has ever appeared in a Judd Apatow movie -- Paul Rudd and McLovin included -- and yet, with all of this talent, this film is still a steaming pile of Ox turds waiting to be processed at the local refinery so we can have food for our geraniums.

I almost get the feeling that the actors in this film went along with it because, hey, it's Harold Ramis! I'm sure the thought entered their mind at some point that this may not be the next coming of "Lawrence Of Arabia", or, for that matter, the next coming of "Hudson Hawk"; but what's it matter, it's Harold Ramis! The man is a genius! He'll figure it out.

Image © Columbia Tristar Marketing Group, Inc.



Everything about this movie is bad. The plot, the acting, the editing ... and worst of all, I almost fell asleep. I never fall asleep in movies, ever. When I was six years old my mother took me to see "Ordinary People." Yes, it won the Oscar for Best Picture ... but I was six! Do you know how boring that film is to a six year old! Guess what? I didn't come close to falling asleep during that film.

"Year One's" final act even manages to stage a scene involving scaffolding that was much better done in the Tom Hanks vehicle "The Money Pit." Yes, I just wrote that something in this film was done better in "The Money Pit." "The Money Pit"! If there's one saving grace it's Michael Cera. Basically he plays the same character he played in "SuperBad" and "Arrested Development" and pretty much everything else he has ever appeared in. That's not a knock, though; Cera's deadpan innocence/honesty offers up the few chuckles to be found.

About 15 minutes into this film Jack Black's character picks up a piece of poop and eats it. This is an excellent metaphor for the entire film. See, if you pay money for this film, you, too, just bought yourself a piece of poop and, in essence, you will be eating it just like Jack Black. I only hope Harold Ramis can learn from this -- just like how the "Atomic" wing eater learns to order a milder sauce -- and rediscovers the nuances that makes him great and not, both literally and figuratively, show the audience shit.

Grade: D-
Watch "Cera, Black get biblical on-screen"



Mike Ryan
"Mike's Pulse" is a column written by transplanted Midwesterner and current New Yorker Mike Ryan. For any compliments or complaints -- preferably the former -- you may contact Mike directly at miker@starpulse.com
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