This Is the End Reviews
At face value, it seems like it would be pretty hard to screw this movie up with Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Michael Cera and a dozen others playing themselves during the Apocalypse. Even Rihanna and Harry Potter's Emma-freaking-Watson have extended cameos. There is one cameo that is so absurd and crazy that it would be a major spoiler to reveal it.
Speaking of spoiler alerts, you'd think that the cause of the Apocalypse wouldn't be revealed, but that hasn't been the case. One reviewer mentions that it it is a literal interpretation of the Bible's Book of Revelations. You're at least 45 minutes into the movie before the reveal of what is really happening (unless you were raised reading the Bible. Then you get it pretty early on).
Yeah, it's also a riff on the egocentricity of Hollywood celebrities, but who really cares unless you are an avid reader of TMZ or Perez Hilton. The real brilliance is in the dialogue, a ton of which has to be ad-lib/improv. There are so many jokes in this movie told in the context of the story it would fill a TV comedy series for multiple seasons.
This is a two-hour comedy movie. Do they make any comedy movie that long? I just hope it has a Lord of the Rings-style Extended Edition on DVD.
Well, after a minute, yes, won over not only with the entertaining scenario but its pretty good execution as well. And the fact that we know all of them works to draw us in. They're sort of our friends too after a bit, and the constant mention of previously seen films adds to that known quality dimension. Its a fun film from the group, and very nearly an endorsement for pot legalization everywhere in the States.
In between all the self-referential jokes is an actual storyline with dramatic payoff and substantive situations.
Good funny movie! If you've seen Superbad, Pineapple Express, etc., then you know the type of humor this movie will have. I, for one, could watch James Franco, Seth Rogan, and Danny McBride leisurely eat a sandwich and manage to laugh my butt off. Thankfully this movie is much more exciting than that. It's brilliant that they all just play themselves and manage to poke fun at their own lifestyles. Expect weed and drug humor of course. The cast is perfect and the cameos aren't there to fill out the movie and take up time, they are excellent especially Emma Watson and Michael Cera. There are a few scary jumps on the way but the humour will carry you through it, as i said the story so well written you'll go with the flow.
All Jay Baruchel expected coming to LA was a fun time with Seth Rogen with all the wild partying to have both by themselves and at James Franco's housewarming party. Suddenly, the Rapture hits and the Biblical Apocalypse has begun. Now, Jay and Seth are desperately sheltering in James' house for rescue along with a few other friends. Together, they must band together to attempt to survive the end of the world, only for Jay to find that they are all too dumb and superficial to do it until they discover the only way out.
I'm all up for comedies driven by strong writing, and for the most part, "This is the End" flows like a dialogue-driven film. But as minutes go by, you soon realize that the writing is underwhelming, and by the end of the film, you realize that you didn't laugh too much. Acting's surprisingly great for the most part, and the charisma put into this project is nothing short of commendable. In the end, it all comes crashing down when its missing the meat of what "This is the End" should have: comedy.
As a big fan of Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson, I'm sad to say that I was sorely disappointed with "This is the End". Hey, maybe you'll have your insides bursting with laughter with this one, for I was one of the few that disliked "Ted", but "This is the End" didn't cut the deal for me.
Enter Franco, Hill, McBride, Robinson and Baruchel (along with Rogen) as they all play themselves (so to speak) in LA for a lively house party. Along for the ride we see cameos from Cera, Segel, Tatum, Ansari, Watson, Mintz-Plasse, Kaling, Rudd, Hart and errr...Rihanna? (someone must have a hard on for her).
So most of the cast from various Rogen/Goldberg flicks are here along with a few of their friends and some of the cast from 'The Office'. During this party at Franco's house there are big earthquakes as the world slowly comes to an end and lots of people end up being killed off. This sequence is one of the better parts of the film as you various stars getting killed and their precious little world of LA getting burnt to a cinder. Dunno what some of these people would do without LA because we all know they can't bare to be away from it for real.
From here on its a survival flick with a small bunch of guys enduring a nightmare scenario during the apocalypse...but with a dark comedy twist. The whole idea is kinda interesting but at first I found myself not liking most of the 'characters'. They are suppose to be playing themselves but of course its hyped up...you do kinda wonder though, how close to the bone these performance are. I'm sure these film stars lives aren't too far off this angle, regular parties/get together's in their big mansions, weed, booze (to a degree), sexy girls on call, spending crazy amounts of money on weird interior decorations that only the mega rich could even dream of affording, does make you roll your eyes.
As the film progresses it does get better and more like a spoof or parody of horror/action flicks, kinda like 'Army of Darkness' maybe. That kind of low budget trashy nonsense where you can just roll with the silliness and have fun. The only difference here is the film isn't low budget, it looks pretty slick in the devastation sequences and has some nice demonic CGI beasties too. Of course there are plenty of B-movie moments which are cool, mainly the deaths which are deliberately over the top and bloody, a few predictable rips from other movies and of course the dialog is totally slapstick. The whole thing actually felt very much like a live action version of the 'South Park' movie from 1999. The big red magma fella in the finale with his huge schlong swinging right in front of the camera!...you see what I mean.
On the one hand I did enjoy these guys talking about their previous flicks, comparing sequences, making homemade sequels when they were bored, sticking in old props and generally taking the piss out of each other. But on the other hand, after a time the whole thing does seem to feel a bit self-conceited, these guys are laughing at themselves sure...but are they really? it does come across as a bit of a vanity project, call me cynical, but end of the day we all know these folk love talking about themselves and their films.
When the film is getting stuck into the plot and not revolving around the stars filmographies it can be a fun flick. There are some great dialog conflicts here and there, the cum dialog sequence between Franco and McBride springs to mind and I quite liked how Hill mentions that the rescue services will come for them first because they are big movie stars (deep down they all probably actually believe that). Not too sure if its just LA that gets destroyed in the story or the whole world though, thought it was LA because of the earthquake prone area but unsure, I'm guessing its the whole world.
Its funny though, certain cast members play the same type of characters you'd expect. McBride is the untrustworthy schmuck like he always is, so hardly playing himself really, Franco is kinda underhanded and is Jonah Hill gay??. Any who the film is reasonably enjoyable at times yet a bit self indulgent I think. This could of been a more straight up dark comedy fantasy without all the self promotion and pointless buddy cameos (they love this in-house stuff no matter how self depreciating, don't kid yourself), it still would have worked well. I think you gotta like this particular bunch of actors basically, I do like Rogen, Cera, Hill and McBride so it was passable for me. If you don't get on with these guys then this probably isn't the film for you.