Zed (Jack Black) and Oh (Michael Cera), one a hunter and the other a gatherer, are a pair of stone-age zeroes. In Harold Ramis’ flimsily farcical extravaganza, these two goofy failures among buffoon cavemen have been cast out of the tribe and into a semi-epic travesty on ancient history. There’s something very intriguing in the basic concept, especially with that combination of high-brow wit and low-brow foolishness cavorting through territory that might be equal parts Mark Twain and Mel Brooks. But the comic entertainment in Year One is erratic at best, and however much comic inspiration and thought may have gone into the basic premises, the on-screen results feel tossed-off and half-hearted as often as not. Cera and Black make an amusing comic team, and the not-so-excellent misadventures of Zed and Oh—with the Garden of Eden, Cain and Abel, Abraham and Isaac, Sodom and Gomorra, miscellaneous Roman centurions, etc.—make for a divertingly diverse set of antics, even as they fail to build into anything terrifically funny or significant.
Tinseltown. Rated PG-13