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Even cavemen deserve better 

Year one, the Michael Cera and Jack Black comedy directed by Harold Ramis falls as flat as a mastodon-stomped movie-goer.

Year One's director Harold Ramis has explained that what separates his Old Testament comedy from Mel Brooks' The History of the World, Part I is its narrative continuity. Because Year One has no unifying point or point-of-view, that difference is negligible. This is still an episodic sketch film, and a mostly flat one at that. The situation has promise: Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera), a hunter and a gatherer, walk through Biblical Times with the sensibility of 21st-century frat boys. They see Cain kill Abel. They stop Abraham from killing Isaac. They chase the girls of their dreams in the party town of Sodom. But Zed and Oh don't become a comparable Bible story in their own right. The feces- and castration-obsessed script is underwritten to the point that jokes don't bother to be funny. At one point, the duo stop in their tracks upon noticing a cougar growling at them from a tree. The unexpected twist? The cougar jumps out of the tree. End of scene. The screening I attended seemed largely comprised of teenage girls infatuated with Michael Cera. Even 2,000 years ago, that demographic would demand better punchlines.


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