All hail Michael Cera, worker of unprecedented movie miracles! The 21-year-old Canadian comic takes a weak concept and some weaker material and, wherever possible, adds some much needed flashes of comedic genius.
Year One is an enjoyable knockabout comedy, but as a satire on human folly it's a disappointment; Ramis could have gone much further underlining the parallels between ancient and modern religious wars.
Year One is a slapdash concoction with an overreliance on scatological gags and a long lag time between laughs. I freely admit that. Yet I have a certain affection for this movie, if only because of its conceptual simplicity.
Year One is easy to hate, especially if you loathe Jack Black's hammy shtick, think Michael Cera peaked in Arrested Development or you have a worn Bible in your bedroom... and you're not living in a Super 8. But I loved it.
The obligatory gross-out moments function as camouflage for what proves to be a surprisingly trenchant critique of the human penchant for violence, greed, deceit, hubris and, especially, religious superstition.