25 June 2009 | TOMNEL
There's not very many horribly bad moments, but at the same time, there's very few funny moments.
From the reviews, this movie seemed like it would be horribly bad, and full of annoying cringe worthy moments, but this is not true at all. Actually, despite a lazy script full of nonstop crude and sex jokes, and moments that could be really awful, this movie is above the very low bar. Jack Black and Michael Cera take this bad material and make something mediocre out of it, which still isn't saying much.
Zed (Jack Black) is a gatherer who tries to fit in with the hunter clan, but he's just too silly for their tastes. Oh (Michael Cera) is also a gatherer and is a somewhat unpopular with the ladies. After an accident involving fire, this mismatched pair has to leave and they do through various pieces of biblical history, including meeting Cain (David Cross) and Abel (Paul Rudd), and meeting Isaac (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Abraham (Hank Azaria), who apparently had a thing for cutting foreskin. The movie is a hodge podge of scenes thrown together with very little plot, but by the end Zed and Oh have to save the lives of two girls from their village.
Jack Black and Michael Cera are pretty good here. Jack Black does his typical over the top stoner performance and Michael Cera gives the emotional boy performance. Even David Cross and Oliver Platt manage to squeeze some laughs out of their performances. But nobody really has a lot of material to work with, though at the same time the material isn't the worst out there. It's bad, and oftentimes relies on some outwardly sexual material. In fact, this is the least subtle PG-13 rated film I've seen where sexual or crude jokes are involved. This includes scenes of eating poop and throwing testicles. If something sexual happens, it's not only just implied, but it's flaunted.
One big problem is the lack of plot in the movie. It grows boring going from setpiece to setpiece, never establishing a real plot until the end, and despite being only around 100 minutes, it still feels way too long. The climax is ridiculous and quite boring, and this movie is too filled with scenes that aren't particularly horrible, but they aren't particularly funny, and all too often this movie is just a laugh free staring at the screen. It managed to attain quite consistent mediocrity, with some chuckles every once in a while. It wasn't horrible, it just wasn't good either, by any means.
My rating: ** out of ****. 105 mins. PG-13 for crude sexual humor, drug use, and language.