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THIS IS THE END (review)

this_is_the_endTHIS IS THE END
Written and Directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Starring Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride
 

James Franco: How about we don’t make “Your Highness 2”

I’ve always said that if I have to go, which I know I do have to at some point, I would want to go in the apocalypse. This way, we can all go at the same time and I don’t have to go through it all alone. And when that day comes, I am officially calling dibs on throwing a kick-ass THIS IS THE END apocalypse party, based on Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s directorial debut. Those dudes know how to go out proper and with hilarity well in tow.

After years of criticism that Rogen does nothing but play a variation on himself in all of his films, he decides to subvert said criticism by essentially playing a variation on himself in THIS IS THE END. His good buddy, Jay Baruchel (played by his real life good buddy, Jay Baruchel), has come for a visit in Los Angeles, a place Baruchel is not fond of. The twosome proceed to get very high and eventually make their way out to a party hosted by another of Rogen’s good buddies, James Franco, played by, you guess it, James Franco.

Franco’s house in the movie is not Franco’s house in real life. It makes for quite the party pad though. Present at this party are Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride (despite not actually being invited) and a host of other recognizable faces, most of which do not survive the rapture. Yes, I said rapture, as that is what takes place in the middle of this fete. Naturally, none of Franco’s guests are raptured up to heaven and saved from impending doom. Sorry, Rihanna. Maybe next time.

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Their loss is our gain though. What you’re left with is a handful of hilarious guys holed up in a lavish home with very little resources at their disposal. Who needs food or water though when you have this much laughter to sustain you? THIS IS THE END is easily the funniest comedy any of these guys has put out in years. Who knows? Maybe that’s because they all got to more or less be themselves. Or maybe that’s just what happens when you get all these guys in the same room together.

As a first time directorial effort for Rogen and Goldberg, the writing team behind PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and SUPERBAD, THIS IS THE END is a solid effort. There are only a few moments where the boys seem to trail off into lost trains of thought about their penises. For the most part though, they have a strong understanding of the personas they are playing with and how the audience will interact with them. They also manage to inject the whole thing with just the right amount of heart to make it more than just some great laughs.

While no one is fully playing themselves in THIS IS THE END (least of all, Michael Cera, who is priceless in this), what we’re given is essentially the impression we already had of these actors, which makes the experience feel all the more candid and relatable as a result. Abundant meta implications aside though, if the actual apocalypse is anywhere near as funny as this movie is, I say bring it.

4

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