Synopsis: In Year One, when two lazy hunter-gatherers are banished from their village they set off on an adventure through the ancient world.
Release Date: June 19, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Comedy, Adventure
As Year One follows Zed and Oh on their adventure it inevitably becomes clear this is a movie that is all about poking fun at the biblical and historical stories we have heard our whole lives. If only it had a tad bit more creativity behind it to keep you in the moment for the duration. Year One is always humorous, if you are paying attention, but never quite great with its delivery. Plus, many of the big moments of action or drama are cut right when you least expect it and all you get to see is the outcome, not the actual moment. You start to feel cheated as this formula repeats itself over and over again.
Who knew our ancestors spoke with the same slang, dialect, etc. as we do today! This does make for a problem as you feel you are watching a movie that could have taken place in the modern era, and not at the beginning of time. That aside, Year One has its share of great jokes, a steady premise, and characters straight out of history enacting events that one never expected held such a comedic edge.
This may have been done to offset the lack of sets built for Year One or to emphasize the small world the characters inhabit but the film has an overabundance of close-ups. It is all well and good to get reaction shots of characters close-up and personal but to have that be the main way you see most of the characters all the time, it gets old really fast. Not to mention the strong emphasis on shot-reverse-shots throughout that keep you begging for a medium or wide shot of something, anything, just to break up the monotony. Year One may be shot well but with such a lack of variety, the cinematography is a letdown.
There are plenty of laughs to be had for the most part in Year One, and definitely at the beginning of the film. As it moves along they do tend to waver on the cusp of being redundant or more of the same fun. Overall it is full of humor that is brought through the dialogue and the action on screen.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Harold Ramis
- Producer(s): Harold Ramis, Gene Stupnitsky, Lee Eisenberg, Harold Ramis
- Screenwriter(s): Harold Ramis
- Cast: Michael Cera (Oh), Jack Black (Zed), Oliver Platt (High Priest), David Cross (Cain), Hank Azaria (Abraham), Olivia Wilde (Princess Inanna), Harold Ramis (Adam)
- Editor(s): Craig Herring
- Cinematographer: Theodore Shapiro
- Country Of Origin: USA