Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000 to 2009. Year One is the final entry in the series. In reverse alphabetical order, every entry can be found starting at this page.
Hearing a Cracker song at the conclusion of 2009’s Year One was nice, but Harold Ramis should’ve forgone “I See the Light” given its refrain: “I see the light at the end of the tunnel now / Someone please tell me it’s not a train.”
Playing chicken with Ramis’s latest unendurably dreary excuse for comedy proved more hazardous to health than chancing it on the tracks. Although perhaps it’s appropriate that this look back at lame movies concludes with a film ostensibly about the first losers.
Had Year One — a Bible-times romp with Jack Black and Michael Cera — arrived on the heels of Ramis’s National Lampoon’s Vacation or Groundhog Day, he might have attempted something existential or a takedown of organized religion’s more lurid, violent aspects.
Instead, it was yet more dreck from Ramis’s later career. In an era when such satire would be welcomed, Ramis was too busy interrupting biblical incidents like Cain & Abel and Abraham & Isaac in a vapid vaudevillian style.
And when in doubt, the man who once gave us Ghostbusters and Caddyshack resorts to making Black eat feces and Cera pee in his own mouth. Yes, this is Harold Ramis. Yes, this is comedy at the level of a monkey on YouTube.
You get the sense all involved hoped to offer some sort of ribald spin on a Bing Crosby-Bob Hope movie. In that sense, consider Year One the road to hell.