Saturday, June 15, 2013
This is a This is the End review
To put it simply, "This is the End" is hilarious. It's a tad self-indulgent, it drags a little in the second act, but all those problems are instantly forgivable thanks to a cast that is always game and always fun to watch. Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson... it's fun to watch this cast work with each other. The premise is awesome: a bunch of Hollywood actors have to take shelter during the apocalypse. It makes you wonder, what would actors do in such a situation? "This is the End" gives you the answer.
Jay and Seth are long time friends, both from Canada. Seth has made it big in Hollywood, Jay has a healthy movie career but insists on staying in Canada. When the movie opens, Jay decides to visit Hollywood to hang with Jay. After spending the day smoking and eating burgers, at Seth's insistence, they go to a party at James Franco's house. Pretty much everybody that's ever appeared in a Judd Apatow-produced movie is at the party. Plus, Rhianna and Emma Watson. Michael Cera is doing coke and getting oral sex. Craig Robinson sings a song called "Take Yo Panties Off." James Franco shows off his pretentious art on the walls. None of this impresses Jay, who just wanted to hang out with Seth and doesn't care about Seth's Hollywood friends.
But then the apocalypse begins and suddenly Jay is forced to be trapped with Seth and four of his friends. They try to make the most of things when crazy shit is happening around them, but what they eventually come to realize is... surprise, they have the power to change their fate.
I won't give too much away though. When the six of them are stuck in Franco's mansion, it gives the actors an opportunity to riff on each other endlessly. What keeps "This is the End" watchable is how self-deprecating the actors are in the film. They make fun of each other, and themselves. Their personas. You may think this is a sort of vanity project, but really, it's just the opposite. "The is the End" shows just how down-to-earth and fun these actors really are.
And overall, in a summer with the Hangover crew, the aging Frat Pack, and (later in the summer) the Happy Madison gang... this crew (who we'll dub, the Apatow kids) clearly stand above all. "This is the End" is just a joy to watch. It has plenty of surprises to keep you entertained throughout. It's tasteless in the best possible way. Rogen and company are at their best here.