Have you ever seen the downfall of civilization as you know it? I’m pretty sure I just did. Or perhaps at least a benchmark/watershed moment as another one of society’s young stars makes a movie about crap. When I say about crap, that would first have to imply that the movie was about something in general… which it most certainly wasn’t. It was a movie about nothing with little more than a poorly written script to tie scenes together.
Why you might ask would I call this cinematic masterpiece the downfall of society? The answer is simply that within it is the degredation of the boundaries between fact and fiction. The two cavemen somehow manage to end up meeting Adam and Abraham at the same time, which for those of you who don’t know your history lived many centuries apart, and wound up in a cecil b. demille influenced version of sodom which had little to nothing to do with sodomy but more to do with human sacrifice and a temple which steals its name from the jewish Holy of Holies… the anti-thesis of the sodomites’ worship center I might add. But with glaring historical innacuracies aside, the most disturbing aspect of the film has to be that the innacuracies are not couched with tongue in cheek, but instead are taken as post modern puzzle pieces given liberally to the screen writer for his amusement.
The sarcasm and satire that has come to be associated with some of the best comedies is nowhere to be seen, but instead has been replaced with a theatre of the absurd which doesn’t paint itself at all as absurdity but instead takes an anything goes approach to the art of crafting a story. This film takes the name Year One as an all encompassing term for multiple concepts of ancient history and seeks to free itself from within the niche genre of story telling that it belongs in. The distance that the marketing of this film seeks to place between itself as a legitimate comedy set in ancient times versus a spoof of ancient times is scary because it asks the mindless viewer to do the same with history and art.
This movie was definately funny, with the help of the comedic performances by Michael Cera and Jack Black who have a definate chemistry on screen seems familiar and plausible. However, the film was not art and it was not story telling. It was the equivalent of listening to a 2 year old tell the story of how a zebra got its stripes, funny and cute… but a movie doesn’t need to be made about it. Waste.