I hate it when comedies try to be "big." I'm just a fan of the more down to Earth stuff as I really wish that people would stop making stuff like You Don't Mess With The Zohan and stuff like The Love Guru and stuff like Year One. Terry Gilliam and co. were able to pull it off in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Mel Brooks did it again with History of the World Part I, but that was a time when stuff as provocative as the 40 Year Old Virgin couldn't get made so people would have to laugh at what would be deemed as the utmost ridiculous concepts for today's film industry. Year One's gags also fall way too far on the immature side of things even if a concept is amusing (like having David Cross and Paul Rudd as Cain and Abel, but apparentl in this time period, rocks don't bloodily bash your brains in). Maybe a thirteen year old will be amused but this doesn't even seem to be a satire about any part of society, instead we have a shameful attempt at humor that is only a thin notch above Dance Flick and Land of the Lost, where silliness runs wild over humorous substance.
The comedy pairing of talented actors Jack Black and Michael Cera also falls much flatter then I expected just from the previews. Black's caveman is wild as if he drank too much caffeine while Cera is more calm and witty towards the last second of a moment once Black has shut up. The two personalities contrast so greatly that nothing they say or do together holds any prolonged interest. The supporting players are pretty interesting, especially Oliver Platt as a tribe leader and Hank Azaria as Abraham, but Harold Ramis (director of some of my least and most favorite films) throws in way too many other characters for any of them to leave a laughable lasting impression on anyone.
I always feel bad for movies like this. There are a lot of very talented people here working out of sync and although it could be worse (on the level of a Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer film...) when I know how far concepts like these have been elevated in the past, one can't help but look upon Year One in shame. Films like these are have gone the way of previous decades but I never was a big Flintstones fan anyway.