Screens of the Stone Age: Year One

Do you ever worry your skillset would have been useless in prehistoric times? Not me. I’d have been a pun-ter gatherer.

Judd Apatow does Life of Brian in this 2009 comedy ostensibly about cave men but almost instantly turning into an Old Testament parody, evidently bored of itself as quickly as we are. Jack Black and Michael Cera are banished from their tribe after eating the forbidden fruit, even though knowledge is bestowed upon neither characters nor writers. Every gag is a shit one (or a piss one, vomiting one or farting one) wallowing in sexism and homophobia, making the High Priest of Sodom (Oliver Platt) a camp guy. It took three writers to think of that. One of whom is called Stupnitsky, so you’d have thought the jokes would write themselves.

Set before the invention of comedy (clearly), Year One has fewer laughs than Nymphomaniac: Volume One. Despite the wealth of comic material one could mine from Bible, Apatow, Harold Ramis and the team are one thing you could not be in the Stone Age: lazy. The only character motivations they can think of are a woman for each of the protagonists, vaguely tying together a string of barely functioning Biblical skits involving bodily functions. Its biggest insult is the way it lifts entire scenes from Monty Python’s classic and guts them to make a movie as stupid, cynical and actively unfunny as Year One. Year Ones could make a better film.

Yabba dabba don’t.


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