By Mark Saldana
Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)
In watching this often hilarious comedy about the apocalypse, it becomes evident that this group of acting/filmmaking friends and colleagues had an absolute blast making this movie. By portraying fictional versions of themselves, this gave free reign to the comic talent in the film to not only poke fun of themselves, but also the public’s perception of them and at some of their past films. Because the cast has a natural chemistry together, this probably made the process so much easier. With a sharply written screenplay by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jason Stone, based on the short film Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse, and I’m sure plenty of first-rate improvisation, This is The End could possibly be the best comedy of the summer.
The story begins on the first night of the end of the world, and because they don’t see it coming, Seth Rogen and his buddies are feeling just fine. Actor friend Jay Baruchel comes to visit his fellow Canadian actor bud Seth in L.A. and the two decide to attend James Franco’s house party where they encounter many of their friends and previous co-stars. When some bizarre phenomena, closely resembling the end of the world as detailed in the Book of Revelations of the Bible, Rogen, Franco, Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride are forced to work together to survive the catastrophic events taking place outside of Franco’s home. Of course past resentments, Hollywood egos, utter stupidity and demons threaten the once close knit group.
Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, This is the End had me laughing often and constantly smiling. I smiled so much that I had a slight headache after the screening. The main cast along with some amazing cameos deliver mostly comedy gold. I could go over some of the cameos in the film, but I’d rather not spoil the experience for anyone. That is if the TV spots haven’t already spoiled too much, but I digress. The cast works tremendously well together and they really nail their jokes and lines beautifully. Now, I will go on to say that a particular sequence in the movie does feel a bit old hat and overplayed. This, however, is the only real weakness of the comedy.
Because the content, particularly the language, is unrestrained, raucous, and could be considered distasteful to some audience members, this film will not appeal to all everyone. More conservative and reserved people who have problems with the liberal use of expletives, bodily function and sexual humor should probably stay away. Highly conservative Christians may also take issue with the comedic take on the Book of Revelations. Still, I feel that Rogen and Goldberg handle this aspect of the film delicately with a message of redemption. All of the raunchy humor is directed at the characterizations of the actors in the story.
That, mainly, is what makes This is the End so highly entertaining. I really loved that the actors have the sense of humor to make light of their personalities, their careers and how they are perceived in the public eye. This movie may be “the end” so to speak, but I think if the talent behind this comedy can come up with a solid idea for a sequel, I would certainly look forward to it.