This Is The End, the latest film from the minds of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Superbad), is a comedy that is :gasp: actually funny! As opposed to this year’s Hangover III and Identity Thief, it is refreshing to finally have a movie that made me laugh out loud multiple times. While the film is completely raunchy and over the top (as you can probably tell from the trailer), fans of the Superbad and Pineapple Express genre will not be disappointed.
Certainly the most hilarious aspect of the film is the fact that audiences get to see the actors playing stereotypical, over-the-top versions of themselves! For example, the movie includes a scene of TMZ paparazzi following Seth Rogen in an airport, asking him to do “the laugh”; Jonah Hill is really serious about acting now that he has an Oscar nomination (he even prays and tells God “this is Jonah Hill from Moneyball”); James Franco is a pretentious artist, etc… It was hilarious to see these actors play into the personas they have been given by the media (and public).
The film begins with Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) arriving at LAX to pick up his friend Jay Baruchel (She’s Out Of My League). Like in real life, the pair have been friends for a long time and Jay is excited to hang out with one of his best friends. However, Jay is quickly disheartened when he finds out Seth wants to go to a party at James Franco’s new house instead of hanging out alone for the whole weekend. Jay doesn’t like Seth’s “Hollywood” friends because he believes they think too highly of themselves and don’t like him.
After Seth’s insistence, Jay reluctantly decides to attend the party as long as Seth promises not to ditch him. Unfortunately, when Jay and Seth arrive at the mansion, Jay’s fears are confirmed. At the door, Franco can’t remember his name but fawns all over Seth, Jonah Hill is overly nice to him (which Jay doesn’t trust), and everyone else basically ignores him. After awhile of dealing with this, Jay decides he has to get out of there, so he tells Seth he is going to get cigarettes. Seth follows him to the convenience store and the two begin to discuss their problems… that is, until the apocalypse hits. All of the Christians are raptured to heaven through blue beams of light, leaving the Earth (and all of its remaining citizens) to the devil’s terror.
Jay and Seth quickly retreat back to Franco’s Hollywood party, where interestingly no one has been taken to heaven and the party is still raging like normal; no one in the house has any idea what is going on outside. In fact, none of the partiers believe Seth and Jay’s apocalyptic story until a giant earthquake rattles the house. As everyone runs outside, a giant sinkhole opens in Franco’s front yard, swallowing many of your favorite celebrities into a pool of lava. Jonah Hill, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride (who has been passed out upstairs for the entire party) decide to hold up in Franco’s house until they can figure out how to survive the apocalypse. Is there any way they can get themselves to heaven or is it too late?
Believe me, a lot of the action in the film is so crazy, you’ll wonder why you’re still watching (especially a scene between the devil and Jonah Hill) but that’s how entertaining and hilarious the script is! No matter how ridiculous the scenes were, I was still totally into the plot. I was also continuously waiting for other celebrity cameos. Make sure to look out for Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, Michael Cera (and many others that I won’t spoil), who make hilarious appearances in the film (some meeting more horrific deaths than others).
Rogen and Goldberg do a fantastic job centering the storyline on a group of friends who need to come together in order to survive. Though this survival includes avoiding a giant, well-endowed devil, the theme of friendship was not lost in the film’s many instances of absurdity. While the apocalypse may not be the most likely setting for a study on dealing with the way friendships change over time, I certainly enjoyed where the filmmakers took me.
Over all, This Is The End is very funny and did a great job incorporating the theme of friendship throughout the storyline. At some points, the film did feel a little long, but I think fans of the actors’ previous work will really enjoy this movie. PLUS there is an added bonus for Pineapple Express fans eager for a sequel! When the house guests are bored, they decide to film Pineapple Express 2!
My Review: B+