Director: Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen
Starring: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill
When the apocalypse starts, a group of actors get stuck in James Franco’s house facing a fight for survival. Based on the short film ‘Seth and Jay vs. the Apocalypse’, This Is The End is a comedy that repeatedly fails. The moral of this film is that most of these actors can’t act and that they’re all horrible people. Though everyone in the film plays themselves, Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen are the same characters that they are in every movie – Baruchel plays the self-righteous, indie, obnoxious hipster and Rogen hasn’t a clue what’s going on and tries to makes jokes whenever a sexual innuendo arise. The stars are James Franco and Danny McBride. Since moving to comedy, Franco has come into his own and is the funniest person on-screen whilst McBride is the comedic antagonist whose job is to screw everything up. As soon as McBride enters the film he uses all of the supplies and thinks that he is in the right. ‘James Franco didn’t suck any dick last night. Now I know y’all are tripping’ – he also gets the best lines. If the moral was they were good people then they’d have been taking into heaven during the rapture at the beginning.
The relationships between the friends keep the film enjoyable as they escalate due to the cast being stuck a small space. Baruchel and Jonah Hill hate each other but try to put on a friendly face which peaks when Hill throws Baruchel a knife which goes straight into his leg and Franco hates McBride more than anything and doesn’t ever try to hide it. It could be wondered if Franco is a little gay for Rogen as he dreams of making a movie where he gets to sacrifice himself to save his best friend and offers up a painting of himself instead of one involving Rogen.
Franco and Rogen arguing over having a fingertips worth of vomit on them is worth a laugh as they are then immediately covered in it. The soundtrack is amazing as there’s the perfect blending between apocalyptic tracks and party anthems. ‘Gangnam Style’ may have been the worst thing to come out of 2012 but the use of the song works well during the drug scene and is memorable. Yes there is a drug scene like in every other movie that involves Seth Rogen. Who didn’t see that coming.
Some scenes come directly from other movies with The Exorcism of Jonah Hill, Constantine (when Franco gives McBride the finger whilst on his way to heaven) and Pitch Black (when the monster pulls the Craig Robinson back via a rope is tied to him) being copied which cheapens the film. A lot of the jokes don’t deliver any laughs and ruin the movie such as The Exorcism scene which is not needed, nor is Hill being sexually abused by a demon. The amount of semen jokes, references to ‘titty fucking’ and huge dicks that pop up aren’t funny and neither is Channing Tatum’s cameo as a gimp. Some of the initial scenes from the party don’t work such as the very weird singalong and Rihanna has no need to be in the film. It’s as pointless as Rita Ora popping up in Fast and Furious 6. What the hell was that about? Jonah Hill should quit acting if he thought talking about a dog called ‘Ahjhai’ that doesn’t know how to bark is funny.
Overall This Is The End is an enjoyable comedy. The cast play off each other which is why they have so many hits at the Box Office and nothing comes close to having The Backstreet Boys perform to close a movie. There is a lot that could have been improved but the majority of the film is a decent comedy. The reunion of the Superbad trio and Emma Watson being the subject of a discussion about rape are unexpected and a delight to see. This is one of the better apocalyptic comedies and far superior to the other that was released in the summer of 2013 as The World’s End is potentially the worst.