This is the End (2013)
Directed by Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride
Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen are buddies and they love to work together whenever they can. On their resume are movies like Superbad, Pineapple Express, and The Watch. So it’s obvious that This is the End is another buddy-film from Goldberg and Rogen, but they added a few twists this time around. Firstly, all of the characters are just versions of the actual actor playing him/her, which certainly makes it a lot funnier. Not knowing who’s a dick and who’s nice, it’s fun to just assume that they act like their real selves in the film. Michael Cera as a coked out jerk? Sure, why not!
Secondly, the apocalypse is amongst the group of friends and their patience is tested. The setup offers a grand stage for these comedians to take this single-tone film and really make it their own. In the center of the group are Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel, best buddies who haven’t spent a lot of time together of late. Seth picks Jay up at the airport and they spend an afternoon drinking, smoking, and watching movies. But then Seth proposes they attend James Franco’s party, which Jay attests against since he doesn’t like any of Seth’s other friends.
That lays out the typical buddy-film formula, but then the apocalypse happens and launches this movie to another level of ridiculous/hilarious. The small group tries to survive the end of the world the best they can, which involves taking all of the drugs during the first day after the apocalypse hits. Things get a lot more tense when Danny McBride lashes out against the group, which results into the funniest scene in the movie with James Franco regarding a porn magazine.
Eventually, the group figures out that the only way to be saved and sucked up into heaven in the blue beam of light is to be selfless. Let’s just say that not everyone makes it to the gates of heaven.
This is a rated-R force that is relentless on its raunchy humor and over-the-top violence and destruction. A lot of the film seems improvised and basically is 100 minutes of skits tied together. But putting aside the fire, smoke, and chaos that is going on outside of Franco’s home, having these characters inside a single setting for most of the movie provides all the laughter you need. Because a film about what I would do if the world was ending just wouldn’t be very entertaining. While this movie certainly won’t be for everyone, those who are fans of some Apatow movies and R-rated buddy-films like The Hangover will undoubtedly enjoy This is the End.