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Film / Year One

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Zed: What are these big round things?
Cain: They're wheels, numbskull. They make the cart roll.
Zed: Wow!

Year One is a 2009 comedy film starring Jack Black and Michael Cera as a pair of weak hunter-gatherers in Ancient Rome who get caught up in a plot to rescue their tribe from the City of Sodom.

Zed (Black) and Oh (Cera) are would-be hunters who dream of becoming something more. After the duo is banished from their tribe (thanks to Zed eating from a tree of Forbidden Fruit), they embark upon a series of adventures, and run into various characters from The Bible (influencing historical events as a result). The two are eventually captured and brought as slaves to the City of Sodom, where they discover the women they once pined for, Maya and Eema, have also been enslaved, along with the rest of their tribe. It's up to Zed and Oh to rescue their tribe and become the heroes they were meant to be.

The film features a large amount of Anachronism Stew and features a wide assortment of noted comedic actors in bit parts, including Harold Ramis in both his final acting part and the final film he directed before his death.

Not to be confused with Batman: Year One.

This movie provides examples of:

  • The Abridged History: If we were to take all of the historical facts behind The Bible at face value, we'd get this film — a comedic Anachronism Stew of Bible Times and Ancient Rome.
  • Anachronism Stew: For starters, we have the story of Cain and Abel, followed shortly after with Abraham and Isaac, and then a visit to the city of Sodom. An alternate ending even has the destruction of Sodom, and all of this happens in the span of a couple weeks at most.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
    • If it ends in an "ee" sound, chances are Zed and Oh were accused of it in the Long List of charges against them, including... Puppetry.
    • Except of course, that "sodomy" is not a crime in Sodom. They are instead charged with "refusing sodomy."
  • Big Brother Instinct: Eema and Zed were siblings. Later in the film, Zed saves Eema from a Roman commander.
  • Brick Joke: Cain killing Abel. Even though no one save for Oh, Zed and Adam really cares, any mention of the mark on his forehead causes him to deny the murder.
  • Butt-Monkey: Oh. Others get their licks too, but if something bad happens, it's usually to Oh, and almost always played for laughs.
  • Cain and Abel: Cain is arrogant and psychopathic, as he is portrayed in most modern works. He even gets a lightning bolt to the head.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: After Zed teaches people to clap, it starts raining. From that point forward, the rain begins whenever people clap and stops when they stop clapping.
  • Cut Himself Shaving:
    Oh: 'Y-You were holding a rock and he ran into it with his face repeatedly until he couldn't pull through!'
  • The Chosen One: Zed, who plays it up to the end until he says he's not.
  • Eat My Dust: What Cain says to his father as he's fleeing on a slow-moving camel.
  • Forbidden Fruit: Zed eats golden apples that are forbidden, and a snake wraps around Oh. The fruit doesn't actually do anything, though.
  • Grossout Show: This movie has lots of disgusting scenes.
    • Case in point, the oil rub scene, in which we get to see a gold-painted Oh massage a very hairy high priest.
    • Poor Oh urinating on his own face while he's hanging upside down in prison.
  • Happiness in Slavery:
    "I'm not a slave, I'm a volunteer."
  • Has Two Thumbs and...: "Who has two thumbs and wants another hot oil rub?"
  • Incest Is Relative: Zed casually mentions how his sister, Eema, is quite hot and talks about how he'd be fine sleeping with her. His conversation with Oh exposes that he did in fact sleep with his own mother.
    Oh: She's your sister! That'd be like laying with your mother!
    Zed: Which was a mistake... I see that now.
  • Lethally Stupid: Zed. From impaling one of his fellow hunters with his spear during a boar hunt, to setting the tribe's huts on fire, there's almost nothing that will stop Zed from making a terribly dumb decision.
  • Look Behind You!:
  • Made a Slave: Most of the original village. Oh and Zed were able to run into the desert.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Oh is usually worried that Eema thinks this about him, and the eunuch thinks he is too.
  • Nepotism: The High Priest only got the job because he's the king's brother-in-law.
  • Parental Incest: Zed mentions that he learned his lesson when things got awkward after he slept with his mother.
  • Potty Failure: In the scene where Zed and Oh are chained up in the dungeon, Oh (chained upside down) yells that he has to pee, and then he pees all over his face.