Title: This Is the End
Director: Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, and a host of obvious cameos if you know this crew
Celebrity actors parodying themselves in an R-rated stoner-comedy that unfolds using the backdrop of the biblical apocalypse…it just might work.
This Is the End sees Seth Rogen take his visiting best bud, Jay Baruchel, who can’t stand the Los Angeles atmosphere, to a monster party at James Franco’s house. A reluctant Baruchel agrees, but has reservations about Rogen’s Hollywood friends (Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, etc.). Once he enters the housewarming shindig Franco is throwing for himself, all hell, literally, breaks loose; and the above mentioned are forced to barricade themselves at the party pad trying to survive what looks to be the end of the world.
The tone of this is something between Shaun of the Dead and Broken Lizard’s Club Dredd. The frantic, ignorant, and selfish group brush upon all the right notes for a self-aware horror-comedy, especially when they’re taking brutal shots at each other’s real-life personas and careers. And the multiple injections of modest CGI supernatural violence in the final stages are just simply cool to watch even though the majority of humor gets buried away.
Being obnoxious and tearing down their respective egos are really the only goals in this 107 minute survival romp (could have been trimmed down about 10-15 minutes). The improv script can rise to laughing-with-noise occasions yet can also drop into a black hole of duds more often than one would expect with the hustling talent. And speaking of the “cast,” the mildly contagious energy put forth is a enough to keep one interested despite some lulls. Still, by not having any “message” or underlying theme aside from the ridiculous, this is worth a look and probably could become more entertaining after multiple viewings.
Overall, This Is the End isn’t a classic or a pioneering product. It’s just a bunch of Hollywood friends finding a creative way to rip on each other and indulge their inner-child movie-making adventures (i.e. surviving a zombie takeover and/or being a Ghostbuster and what not).
So take notes Adam Sandler.