This Is the End (2013) (R)
"This Is the End" comes in the middle of the end of the world movies of 2013, there was "Oblivion" and then "After Earth" (neither of which did incredibly well in the box office) soon there will be "The World's End" and recently there was "World War Z". Yet "This Is the End" provides fresh air for those who feel that they need twinkies and bottled water just to survive until the end of the apocalypse movies. Alas, no more twinkies...
This movie takes a page from "Being John Malkovich" because it has all the actors playing themselves. Now, there is no portal inside their minds, but they do seem to play an accentuated version of themselves.
The film begins with Seth Rogen waiting at an airport for Jay Baruchel. When Jay arrives, the two embrace and set off to find something to eat (harder than it sounds, since Seth is on a "cleanse"). Right away, the film sets the viewer up for the type of dialogue that will be continued until the end (of the world). It's rapid fire, filled to the brim with obscenities, and above all quite hilarious. Not many people can make a conversation about gluten funny, but Rogen and Even Goldberg who wrote the screenplay, manage to do just that.
They go back to the house and smoke pot and watch television before Seth drops the ball on Jay—they're going to a party at James Franco's house. Jay feels out of his element in California and would prefer to just stay with Seth and 'chill', but no amount of whining will get him out of it. Once at the party the unfortunates just keep piling on top of each other, Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson are both there. Jonah Hill in particularly plays such a caricature of himself—it's quite enjoyable to watch.
But then....the end of the world—yes, just like that.
It's drastically unexpected and altogether explosive, but the apocalypse happens.
A group of survivors are left to fend for themselves and try to comprehend what happened with their planet. Jay for one thinks that Judgement Day is occurring (yes, the Biblical one).
This film has so many cameos of actors playing themselves that it's almost more fun to pick out who's who than actually see the plot develop. There's Michael Cera (who plays a drunk, high, and vulgar version of himself), Rihanna, Emma Watson, Danny McBride (hilariously annoying), Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Aziz Ansari, Kevin Hart, Martin Starr, and Paul Rudd. There's also a surprise cameo from an unlikely source but I won't ruin that for you.
All the actors are immature and foolish, getting high rather than formulating a plan. But this is what the appeal of "This Is the End" is. Self-deprecating humor is the best.
The relationships that form and break between all the men (for this is a man's movie, through and through and rarely do the girls get to make a joke) give the movie something more than just foul humor and gross-out moments.
"This Is the End" is disgustingly, offensively comical. It's hugely entertaining and rarely contains a dull moment. Not only does it not take itself too seriously, but it goes over the top time after time and sometimes in just spoken word. Take for instance a argument between James Franco and Danny McBride about what is and is not allowed in Franco's house. It keeps building upon itself, barreling past offensive until you can't help but smile a little.
Jay Baruchel seems to soak up most of the spotlight whether intentional or not. I would argue that he is the main character even more so than Seth Rogen, who also helped direct the film.
"This Is the End" isn't perfect, but it doesn't try to be. It attempts to be funny, and with that criteria in mind, it is. It's absolutely not for all, but for those twisted individuals (myself included) who get their kicks by watching movies like this...look no further.
Score: 3 out of 4 stars
Posted by Micah Jones