Poorly Made AND Offensive
Release Date: June 19, 2009
Starring: Jack Black, Michael Cera,
David Cross, June Raphael,
Juno Temple, Olivia Wilde,
Hank Azaria, Oliver Platt,
Vinnie Jones, Christopher
Mintz-Plasse, Xander Berkeley,
Paul Rudd, and Harold Ramis
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: Columbia Pictures/ Sony
Director: Harold Ramis
Executive Producer: Rodney Rothman
Producer: Harold Ramis, Judd Apatow and
Writer: Harold Ramis, Gene Stupnitsky
and Lee Eisenberg
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
(Columbia Pictures/TriStar/Screen Gems/Provident/Triumph Films)
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
The movie stars Jack Black and Michael Cera as Zed and Oh, two inane Paleolithic hunter-gatherers thrown out of their tribe. Before getting kicked out, Zed eats a glowing apple from the Forbidden Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
The movie goes downhill from there.
Zed and Oh begin to wander across the countryside. Oh discovers that Zed was right when he said that the world does not end at the horizon. They both happen upon Cain and Abel arguing with one another. Cain is clearly the aggressor, and he hits Abel in the head with a rock. Cain tries to cover up the apparent murder, but then realizes that Abel is only stunned, so he hits him again and again and again with the rock until Abel is really dead.
Afraid for their lives, Zed and Oh agree to help Cain hide the body under some straw. They go back home with Cain. There, Cain’s father, Adam, is suspicious because Abel has not returned. Zed tries to sleep with Adam’s daughter Lilith, but she informs Zed that she only likes women. Zed does not understand what she’s talking about and keeps making suggestive remarks to her. Meanwhile, Oh has to sleep in the same room with Adam’s son Seth, who is depicted as an idiot.
[Spoilers may follow] The next day, Adam discovers that Abel is dead. Cain runs away, and Zed and Oh go with him. They run into a group of slave traders. Zed and Oh discover that the slave traders have enslaved their whole village, including the two women they like, Maya and Zed’s younger sister Eema. They ask Cain for help in buying Maya and Eema back, but, instead, Cain sells them as slaves too.
Near the city of Sodom, a group of Sodomite soldiers attacks the slave traders. Zed and Oh escape. In the mountainous desert, they meet Abraham trying to sacrifice his son Isaac. Abraham says God will provide the sacrifice, but Zed stops him. Abraham welcomes them to his camp, where he warns Zed and Oh about the sexual sins of Sodom. The next day, he talks to them about circumcising Isaac and them. Zed and Oh decide they prefer to go to Sodom.
In the city, Zed and Oh manage to become soldiers. They discover that Maya and Eema are slaves of the royal family. They also discover that the city is sacrificing virgin women to convince the gods to end the terrible drought hurting the city. Zed ingratiates himself with the king’s stepdaughter, Princess Ianna. Can he and Oh save Maya and Eema before they are cast into the flames, even though Maya may not be a virgin?
YEAR ONE has a very disjointed script that goes all over the place before it settles down into trying to save the girls from the sacrificial fire. It also contains more than its fair share of the usual vulgarities for a PG-13 comedy. There are verbal and visual jokes about fornication, sodomy, masturbation, passing gas, homosexuality, vomiting, and eating animal feces. Beyond that, the movie viciously mocks the biblical story of Abraham, the father of the Jewish faith, and the father of Christianity and, in part, Islam. It also mocks Seth, the righteous son of Adam who became the righteous ancestor of both Noah and Abraham, not to mention Jesus Christ. Finally, at the end of the movie, Jack Black makes references to gods and God at the same time, making it seem as if there’s no difference between polytheism and monotheism. This problem shows the lack of thought that went into the making of this movie.
YEAR ONE is an abhorrent movie on practically every level. Even the clean jokes are pretty lame and surprisingly unfunny. And, the script is one of the most unstructured, poorly written scripts in the past decade. Everyone concerned should hang his head in shame. How this production got past a major Hollywood studio is one of the great mysteries of our time.
YEAR ONE is a very lame, lowbrow, and lewd comedy that viciously mocks Abraham, the founder of the Jewish faith, and Christianity and, in part, Islam. Even most of the clean comedy bits are uninspired and asinine. Beyond that, there are crude verbal and visual jokes about sex, passing gas, homosexuality, vomiting, urinating, and eating animal feces. How this production got past a major Hollywood studio is one of the great mysteries of our time.