Zed (Jack Black) is an inept primitive hunter forced to leave his tribe after he gets caught eating from the tree of knowledge. Zed’s friend Oh (Michael Cera) tags along, and as the two wander through the ancient world they encounter various biblical characters including Cain (David Cross) and Isaac (Christopher Mintze-Plasse). Eventually, a plot of sorts begins to emerge. Zed and Oh learn that their former tribes-people, including a couple of girls (Juno Temple and June Diane Raphael) for whom they have the hots have been sold into slavery and taken to Sodom. So the hapless duo set out on a rescue mission. Directed and co-written by Harold Ramis, Year One definitely has the feel of a movie from the guy who wrote Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack and Stripes. Like those films, this follows the tried-and-true formula of casting strong comedic leads as loveable losers who get beaten down but ultimately come out on top. The movie slips a little when it reaches beyond just trying to make us laugh to insert a half-assed message about people making their own destinies. And it seems kind of odd that a film that’s primarily set in a place called Sodom never has the big pay-off you’d expect. Still, Year One is a reasonably entertaining film with a generous number of laughs. ***
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