Written by J. Weagle
Backstreet’s back, alright.
I gotta say I never expected the end of the world to involve giant sinkholes, super horny demons, and a celeb party at James Franco’s house. By celebs, I mean basically every young comedic actor in Hollywood right now including James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson and everyone’s favourite Danny McBride.
What separates This is the End from other end of the world movies, and from most movies in general is that the entire cast is playing “themselves” or so we are lead to believe. By that I mean, they are playing the characters that the media has assigned to them based upon their previous work and their fans.
Though there are plenty of famous faces to see, the film really boils down to Seth Rogen – who has blown up in recent years as Hollywood’s new funny man, and his best friend Jay Baruchel – who’s career path hasn’t reached the same highs. Like most other movies this rag tag team of funny men who owe most of what they have achieved to Judd Apatow star in, this one to is a buddy comedy.
A whole bunch of other big names show up randomly throughout. Notable ones being Michael Cera who completely steals the scenes in which he is in, and who’s just not in this thing long enough. Another good cameo is Emma Watson (Harry Potter fame) who shows up as an aggressive survivor who out smarts and out muscles a group of grown ass men.
The title says it all, this movie is a depiction of the apocalypse (like literally the one from the Bible) and how this group must come together trapped inside of James Franco’s house in order to survive. The premise is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds, in a good sort of way for the most part. The jokes come fast and furious, many laced with “fucks” and often self depreciating and insulting of the actors past work, not unlike the jokes of their other movies.
The truth is however that the longer This is the End plays, the more violent, weird, and less humorous it becomes. That’s not to say it’s not a funny movie, because the laughs are plenty, it’s just that most of that plenty is near the beginning. The whole apocalypse idea that seems wacky and outrages at first quickly wears off and left me just wanting to go back to the drug fuelled party at the beginning.
As I said without any sort of glue holding this thing together it could of easily ended up as one big mess, luckily it doesn’t. The glue is the relationship between the two Canadian friends, Rogen and Baruchel as they try to reconnect while Jonah Hill attempts to just make any sort of connection with Jay. McBride plays the part of villain (like he usually does) but he’s always on his game when it comes to being comedically on time and furiously funny.
At the end of the day my least favourite part of This is the End is the end of the world bit. That’s a bit of a problem considering it is the main push driving the movie. The first half was solid, and stood out as some of the funniest moments i’ve seen in any movie this year. Part of me wishes that we could have just stayed at the party, hanging out with these characters in a similar fashion to Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, or the high school comedy Superbad. The second half seems to drag on a bit too long, and as the jokes get more aggressive they lose some of there charm. It all leads to an ending that feels as though it could have been lifted from Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.
While the laughs aren’t always out loud, and the movie isn’t perfect it does make for a fun wild and raunchy hour and forty minutes.