Saturday, June 20, 2009

"Year One" (2009) - Movie Review

I was beginning to write the following, “Mythological, theological and traditional satire are seen as this easy rides for laughs. The fantasy spin with the chats we have with our friends sometimes feel like a screenplay on the works. The truth it is if the..” and I said “Stop”. This is not going anywhere as the new comedy “Year One”. This is not so much as offensive or controversial but an inability to go for the jokes, stretch themselves out. What “Year One” does is that it not alone eats dirt and surprised by the stale audience but also takes the formula cake occasionally and again wonder why we are complaining. This is bad, really really bad, very very bad, horribly bad. Did I say “bad’ many times? Yes it is bad.

The title opens up with a serious back ground score as the hunters are aiming to kill a boar and we know there is a punch line for the comedy. Enters Jack Black as the stupid Zed whose character is the obnoxious loser he has always played well, only in this it reeks of repeatability. If one actor cornered a market for himself in the arena of nerdy, nice, shy and importantly, a virgin, then it is Michael Cera. Elongate some shabby hair and rip off the clothes for a cave man style from the sweet kid in “Superbad”, you have Oh.

Harold Ramis directs a film exploring the used up old jokes which honestly were not good ones either when it came new. Beginning with Black being Black and Cera being Cera, the drill of nobodies being pushed to go through the adventures in the long ago past with fart humour, crap humour, sleazy disgusting old man and everything that were thought, executed and hit with failures have been taken again and made worser. This is not disgusting but sad.

It is like riding through a studio tour of ancient sets wherein bad actors reenact the times of cave ancestors. At least they would not talk in that trying to do some stunts which would draw our attention. “Year One” has too much of confidence in the presence of Jack Black who again needs a proper director to put him where he would strike the place. His same social awkwardness character was put forth simply and charmingly in “School of Rock” while Ben Stiller rightly used him for the striking dialogue for his “Tropic Thunder”. Ramis seem to have lost that in containing Black. But then again there is nothing to work upon by the actors too.

And how many times Michael Cera has to lose his virginity? It is getting time for him to do something radically different than being type casted miserably as this kid. If I thought of one person being spiraled in the pit of type cast, that would be Christopher Mintz-Plasse from “Superbad” who actually proved that he can be varied in the same territory of being the lost kid and be funny in “Role Models”. Here he is not too bad coming in a miniscule role of Isaac.

Trying a satire spoof of the old times needs iron hands too. Look at what Kevin Smith did in “Dogma”. He slices the flesh and did not worry for a second be the happy ending or settled for a deduced ending. It is bound to have the liberalism involved in the films weaving the biblical parts as a comedy but not doing it because of a possible scare and a little of insecurity of not getting a box office hit seems a cliched reason to give a pass for.

“Year One” I read cut some scenes to get PG-13 rating. That is unnecessary because in today’s environment, it appears that kids and adults alike enjoy more disgusting jokes purely for the shock factor than anything else. Generally the recent comedy trend is to not alone let the main characters suffer and get fun out of it but begin to care for them in the end where even the obvious seems to be forgotten and forgiven. The problem with “Year One” is that I could not see Zed and Oh. I only saw Jack Black and Michael Cera showing that they depend on material than anything else.

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