FILM: “This Is the End”

Review by Pete Mason

Co-written and directed by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, “This Is the End” is by far the comedy of the summer, one that will stay under the radar until you hear about it from enough friends, so let me be the first to say GO SEE THIS MOVIE.

For 107 minutes, you’ll laugh, you’ll break out in fits of laughter til it hurts, and you may piss yourself a little. “This Is the End” is the kind of movie that “The Hangover” was before anyone thought to
go see a dude from “The Office” and a dude from “Wedding Crashers” with Zack Galifianakis. In “This Is the End” there are only celebrities, most of whom you know already, or will know, since they all play themselves.

The film begins with Jay Baruchel flying into Los Angeles to hang with buddy Seth Rogan; if you don’t know who Baruchel is, you’re forgiven. They were in “Undeclared” together, and he’s had small parts in most of Rogan’s films, notably “Knocked Up,” where he wanted to “rear his child.” The pair go to Seth’s new place and proceed to smoke and enjoy themselves and get ready for a fun weekend. Seth then drops a party at James Franco’s house on him. Jay doesn’t get along with all Seth’s Hollywood friends (part of the reason he doesn’t live there anymore), but he reluctantly decides to go with Rogan to Franco’s party.

At the party at Franco’s sprawling house, you’ll see has every under-40 comedic actor you can think of: Aziz Ansari, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse (McLovin), Michael Cera, Mindy Kaling and dozens of others. Try and count them all!! Throughout the film, everyone plays themselves, so the familiarity level is there off the bat, and you become one of the party-goers as a result. Set only inside and outside of Franco’s house, everyone is enjoying themselves and partying, singing “Take Yo Panties Off” with Craig Robinson and watching Michael Cera go off-character and slap Rihanna’s ass, and that’s just some of the PG-13 stuff I can share.

Then, an earthquake strikes L.A., and a sink hole opens up in front of Franco’s house, swallowing much of the party and killing the guests left and right, all within the first 20 minute. Before long, Baruchel determines that what they are seeing is nothing more than the apocalypse actually happening. What a better place to watch it all go down than in L.A.?

While many die, the few left alive include Craig Robinson, James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel and Danny McBride, all stuck inside Franco’s house until they can figure out what to do. This is a movie of survival with hilarious actors (two have been Oscar-nominated) making do with what they have. All they have to do is figure out how to stay alive while the others around them are dying.

And that’s where I have to let this review end. To share the laughs, which are non-stop, would be unfair to the context of the jokes and scenes, although Emma Watson going off character and stealing most of the liquor while wielding an ax stands out as a marquee scene. But there are SO many more scenes – Jonah Hill’s exorcism, the group taking all the drugs they had left from the party, admiring Franco’s paintings… there is no dull moment in the film, especially when we find out what’s really been
going on outside the safety of the house.

“This is the End” is rated R for swearing, adult humor, apocalyptic violence and a naked Beelzebub or two. There is no reason to see this film in 3-D.

1 Comment
  1. dan hogan says

    Saw this movie at the free preview. People were still laughing as the credits rolled. I haven’t laughed that loud since I saw Animal House at the theater back in the late 1970s.

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