Movie Review: This Is The End

It’s the end of the world as we know it…and Seth Rogen, James Franco and crew are  feeling fine.

We start out at the airport – with Seth picking up his long-time Canadian friend Jay Baruchel. Jay feels a little left out when it comes to Seth’s Hollywood friends, and despite his reluctance, we end up at James Franco’s house – at a raging house warming party to celebrate Franco’s new (and slightly ostentatious) new home. Things get weird. I’ll let the trailer do the talking.

This Is The End is a hilarious, awesome and often ridiculous adventure. Seth Rogen directed and co-wrote this silly and outrageous comedy featuring a few dozen of his closest pals….most of whom happen to be some of the funniest comedians/actors in the industry. Our central story focuses on Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride (all playing themselves). Each actor in this movie plays themselves…or at least a characiature of themselves. These six guys trapped in a house together is comedy gold.

Even with the backdrop of the apocalypse, the story focuses on one of the staples of this man-child crew…. BROMANCE (and a lot of cursing). Jay Baruchel is worried about the state of his friendship with Seth. They’re growing apart, with Seth relocating to LA, and Jay living in Canada. Jay doesn’t feel that he fits in with Seth’s new movie star friends, and the rest of the crew, especially Danny McBride, have issues of their own, with jealousy and pure hatred brewing. All of the films that this cast  have been involved with (Superbad, Pineapple Express, Knocked Up) have themes of friendship woven through them. Maybe its why I like these outrageous and immature characters so much. They remind me of my friends.

Seeing this movie in a packed theatre really adds to the experience. It’s a loud and rowdy movie – and our loud and rowdy theatre made an incredibly fun time at the movies. See with people who make you laugh. I was lucky enough to see this film with my own mantourage.  These are the friends that most remind me of the Seth Rogen crew. I imagine that if the apocalypse were to happen, and I end trapped in a house with my mantourage – events would play in the same way that they do in the movie. It’s been a long time since I’ve laughed so hard in a movie, and I highly recommend seeing it with people who make you laugh.

The cameos in this movie are insane. Within the first half hour we see Rihanna, Jason Segal, Aziz Ansari, Mindy Kailing, Paul Rudd, Emma Watson, Kevin Hart, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Michael Cera. It seems unbelievable, but then you realize that for Seth Rogen and crew – this is a typical Friday night. Seeing Michael Cera as a coked-out a-hole, Jonah Hill as a sensitive soul, and Emma Watson as an ass-kicker is ridiculous, but so much fun. Michael Cera’s short time on screen is obnoxious and totally amazing.  Everyone does a great job showing off the best and worst versions of themselves. The versions that we see in the paparazzi and TMZ videos. It’s played up to such an extreme that you can’t help but laugh at Jay Baruchel’s self-conscious jealousy, Seth Rogen’s is obliviousness, Jonah Hill’s sensitivity (and numerous references to Moneyball), James Franco’s pretentiousness, Craig Robinson’s  charm, and Danny McBride’s insanity. You can’t help but notice that these guys really are friends in real life…or as James Franco would say…. BFFFs.

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The chemistry of the six leads really works here. It’s so damn funny. Most of the best parts of the movie occur when its just the guys trapped in the house. No special effects necessary.  The banter is so real. It almost seems as if there was no script…that the cast got high and just went for it. This was Seth Rogen’s first outing as a director and the third feature film that he’s written. I think he’s done a solid job. Most of the credit goes to the cast. They work really well together – almost like a funnier version of the Adam Sandler crew. The movie feels like we’ve been let in on an inside joke. There’s a lot of name calling and references to acting failures of most of the actors. It’s great that the cast isn’t afraid to make fun of itself.

Almost everything that Craig Robinson says is comedic gold. In fact, there are so many quotable moments in this movie. Even as we were leaving the theatre, there were movie quotes being thrown around.

Even with all the hilarity and pop culture references, there’s a lot of random and unnecessary parts to this movie. I won’t get into details, but there’s a large supernatural (or biblical) component to the film that comes out of nowhere. It’s not necessary, and kind of throws a wrench into the flow of the film. Another slightly annoying feature of the film (and maybe the cast) is that they sometimes don’t know when a joke is dead. Some of the more vulgar jokes went on for longer than necessary – to the point that it was a little awkward to watch.

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That being said, I laughed a lot (and loudly) in this silly and outrageous film. The soundtrack is a top notch, with amazing old school house party songs, featuring KRS-ONE, Cypress Hill, Backstreet Boys – and probably the best use of a Whitney Houston song since The BodyguardThis Is The End is a random and entertaining trip. The end is nigh? …. more like… the end is high.

Spoilers man…. if you don’t want to read it… puff puff pass it….

You guys. This movie really is that hilarious. It’s exactly what you’d expect from the guys from Pineapple Express and Knocked Up. Its gross, childish and entertaining. It’s not an Oscar movie – its a fun time at the movies.

As a Canadian who grew up watching Jay Baruchel on local kids programming, it was really great to see him as the lead in this movie.  The party scene is so awesome. I want to go to that party. We get why Jay feels like such an outsider. It’s such a strangely “cliquey” crew – borderline obsessed with each other (note: the paintings in Franco’s house).  The party is so surreal. Michael Cera as a drugged up ladies man – I don’t think I’ve ever liked Michael Cera so much! What an unexpected and hilarious turn for him. Jonah Hill also surprised me. His sensitive guy (the earring!) routine made me laugh so much. And Danny McBride was his usual a-hole self, and I loved it.

The movie is a little long, and some of it was unnecessary.  I could’ve done without that one scene – you know – when Jonah Hill is essentially sexually assaulted by the Devil. However, it does lead to a great exorcism scene that was really….compelling.

I love that the movie was so self-depreciating. They make fun of each other, the industry, their own failures and successes. They didn’t take it too seriously. It looks like they all had so much fun making this movie. It’s the movie they wanted to make, complete with a Backstreet Boys performance.

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I’m pretty sure the idea sprang from a drug-induced haze. It almost makes no sense. It’s the end of the world as they know it….and they’re getting high.

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3 thoughts on “Movie Review: This Is The End

  1. Oh is it Jay? is it compelling? Guess what? It’s not that compelling! I apologize if my wife bit you during one of the scarey scenes rubes. She thinks she may have accidentally? Crazy things happen when it’s the end of the world

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