“The comedy This Is The End follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.”
Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
SCREEN STORY & SCREENPLAY BY
Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver
Nathan Kahane, Nicole Brown, Jason Stone, Barbara A. Hall, Ariel Shaffir, Kyle Hunter
James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson with Michael Cera and Emma Watson
Spoiler Warning: If you haven’t see “This Is The End” at the theatres or want to keep the events that take place in the movie a surprise, then turn away now! We’ll be discussing key plot points and divulging spoilers–you’ve been warned!
This is the End is one of the funniest films of the summer, featuring an all-star cast of funnymen that will keep you in stitches the entire time. The cast is comprised of a veritable dream-team of comedy greats, from Seth Rogen to James Franco, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Danny McBridge, Jay Baruchel and of course the indomitable–and quite sweaty–Craig Robinson. Everyone plays themselves in the movie, making it a comical farce wherein each of the stars’ personalities compliment and bounce off of one another to create an immensely enjoyable and memorable experience.
While This Is The End is filled to the brim with audacious and outright crude humor, it does feature a spiritual-esque plot that revolves around the end of the world. The apocalypse has come, and a group of best friends binds together to survive the end of days, and come face-to-face with their own mortality.
The Apocalypse Crashes the Party
The film starts out pre-apocalypse, with Jay Baruchel arriving in Los Angeles to meet Seth Rogen, his best friend, at the airport. As soon as the two meet up, their dynamism sparks off charming wit, and you can’t help but to grin–and outright laugh. The Canadian-born Jay plays himself, a jaded actor who’s uncomfortable in his super stardom, and somewhat resents Rogen, who has made a niche within the star-studded community of L.A.
Jay is comfortable just hanging out with Seth, and the two light up for some stoner comedy that’s punctuated with pop-culture references and delivered in that lazy-yet-extremely-endearing way that Seth Rogen has, and they reminisce and catch-up. Jay and Seth were best friends who grew up in Canada together, and were somewhat split when they hit stardom. Their fame sent a rift between their relationship, and Rogen invited Baruchel out to L.A. in order to try to mend their relationship.
Throughout the movie Jay plays a anti-social character who doesn’t like Rogen’s friends, but Rogen still forces him to tag along to a huge party at James Franco’s house. Everyone’s at this party: the rest of the crew, Emma Watson–hell even Rhianna is there. Everyone is having a blast, none moreso than Michael Cera, who’s cocaine-fueled exploits and overall rude behavior are so unbecoming of his soft-spoken nature that it’ll have you rolling on the floor laughing.
James Franco, the titular host of the party, has that distinct personality that is found prevalent in Pineapple Express; you just know it’s Saul and not Franco. The party kicks off, with Rogen mingling naturally with his friends, and Baruchel acting the outsider and avoiding the crowd. Eventually Rogen accompanies Baruchel to a nearby mini-mart to get some cigarettes, and that’s when all hell breaks loose–literally.
All of a sudden these blue beams of light shoot down, and people are pulled up into the sky. My first thought, admittedly, was aliens; it looked like beams–but we find out later it’s actually the chosen ones ascending to the heavens.
After the beams pull up the chosen, the damned are left on earth. Rogen and Baruchel are freaking out in hysteria that adds considerably to the hilarity, but all around them crazy things are happening: people are crashing cars left and right, explosions rack the city, people are dying and screaming and chaos has broken free.
It’s the end of the world, and the only place to turn is back to James Franco’s house.
Surviving the End of Days
Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel get back to Franco’s house, and the party is still kicking. Apparently everyone there–every single person–is damned, and no one got sucked up into the heavens. Then all of a sudden the earth starts shaking, and everyone runs outside, where the very ground tears open in a huge gaping fissure.
Not every movie can portray violence, death and destruction in a comedic light: but this is something that This Is The End does quite well. Even during the scene were just about every person who attended Franco’s party falls into the sizzling pit of lava, the movie shines with hilarity, offering memorable scenes that capture both the hysteria and natural humorous style of the characters.
Almost everyone has fallen into the pit except the main characters: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and so on. They all rush back into Franco’s house, where they board up the place and fortify it to hide out.
During their captivity in an effort to survive is where the real hilarity starts.
Each of the characters have their own quirks and personalities, many of which clash quite naturally throughout the film. Food and water is scarce, and the pressure gets to all of them, making them react even more frantically and manically–which of course only adds to the hilarity.
The jokes and the quite crude mannerisms are spot-on with what you’d expect from the gang: Jonah Hill plays the more innocent nice-guy, whereas Jay is your basic awkward and anti-social skeptic, Franco is fuzzy-brained and seems stoned even though they ran out of mary jane early on, Seth Rogen is more level-headed, Craig Robinson is hot-tempered but nonetheless levels out the pack. Oh and then there’s Danny McBride, the self-centered greedy and totally maladjusted deviant who doesn’t really fit in, and leads to a whole lot of trouble later on.
Some of the best magic takes place during the first few days of the apocalypse, when the gang is trying to entertain themselves. They do so by smoking weed and making their own home-made sequels to films, such as Pineapple Express 2–Jack Black and Mos Def would be very proud of the “Sweded” version.
The shenanigans kick it up a notch as the days go by and things get increasingly bleak. The crew eventually runs out of water, and has to leave the house to search for resources–only to come face-to-face with a demonic devil-dog that all-but proves that the rapture has come. Even though death is staring them in the face, the gang still finds a way to make things hilarious–if only using their natural fearful reactions to life or death situations.
At some point Jonah Hill wishes death upon Jay Baruchel, and is paid back for his ill-will by a surprise night-time visit from a demon. We don’t have to say what happened, but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty, and left Jonah changed forever. Soon after that, he became possessed, and Franco, Rogen, Baruchel, and Robinson try to exorcise the demon from Jonah, but it all backfires and the house ends up burning down.
All in all, This Is The End has everything: comedy, horror, action, suspense–but all of these are have that salty overtone of hilarity thrown into the mix, making you laugh out loud nearly the entire time. If you’re a huge fan of these actors, then you’ll love this flick–even if you don’t like the plot, the real magic happens when they come together and just generally be themselves before the big screen.
It’s raunchy, lewd, crude and downright audacious: but you can’t help but love it, and Evan Goldberg once again spins comedy magic from the collision of some of the funniest names in Hollywood. Even when all hell breaks loose, these guys find inventive ways to waste time and make you laugh in the process, using their creative and completely original jokes to break the ice on tense situations that have you in stitches despite the fact that the apocalypse is nigh.
This Is The End is a great flick that is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys Evan Goldberg’s hit comedies, and will also be fondly remembered in the heart of this viewer as one of the most enjoyable and downright funny films of the year.
Review Score: 8/10
+ Dynamic cast interactions
+ Audacious hilarity with tons of original jokes
+ It gets funnier each time you see it
+ Michael Cera’s performance
+ Memorable catch phrases
+ Seth Rogen (need I say more?!)
+ Surprisingly decent special effects
- Plot is a bit…meh