Written by / 6/12/2013 / 2 Comments / , , , , , , ,

THIS IS THE END

year: 2013 cast: Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Emma Watson rating: ***1/2
Seth Rogen has been accused of always playing himself and now he’s doing it for real. Wouldn’t you know he’s not much different from his fictional characters, but here's a much better movie than usual... Meeting with buddy/actor Jay Baruchel, who's reluctantly flown to Los Angeles, the two hang out at Seth’s pad, smoke pot and have intentionally banal conversations. This suits Jay just fine, but there’s a big party being thrown by actor James Franco in his brand new super duper sized mansion.

The beginning of THIS IS THE END isn’t very funny. With forced jokes and real life actors partying hard, the only true investment is the moping Jay, wanting nothing to do with anything Hollywood. His wish comes true but surely not in this fashion: When Jay and Seth go for cigarettes and munchies at the local liquor store, a formidable earthquake opens up the ground: people are either sucked inside fiery sinkholes or vacuumed into the heavens by bright blue laser beams.

Movie Poster
Eventually the only worthwhile (yet literally God forsaken) humans left behind are as follows: Seth, Jay and their actor buddies Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and James Franco, whose mansion has become a survival compound from outside elements including an unseen creature dwelling amongst the ravenous netherworld. Meanwhile, behind boarded up doors, the guys are still just as shallow yet their narcissistic diatribes are a little funnier now that there's something… or everything… to lose.

Danny McBride, who happened to crash out in Franco’s bathroom the night before, turns up the next morning and becomes the party animal/loon our boys didn’t need, but the audience will appreciate. From wasting rations of food and water to pleasuring himself at will, Danny’s the kind of raunchy comic relief that this already raunchy comedy yearns for. Through his unpredictable behavior he brings the gang closer together. Even HARRY POTTER ingénue Emma Watson turns up sporadically, and she's not to be messed with.

While the abundantly overboard humor is hit and miss, soul-searching dialogue tends to drone on, and several classic homages are wasted on younger audiences (like ROSEMARY'S BABY), the best aspects are the stuff we don’t see at first… What exactly is that roaring creature outside? Is this a biblical or zombie apocalypse, or both? And which actor will buy the farm?

In a nutshell, THIS IS THE END succeeds in what’s gonna happen next… And be prepared since just about everything does... and then some.
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2 comments:

  1. When I first saw the trailer to this movie, for me at least you couldn't have assembled a more annoying cast of actors in Hollywood. I dig Franco but the rest I avoid like the plague. Although shockingly I thought Danny McBride was AWESOME in YOUR HIGHNESS and pretty funny in TROPIC THUNDER. Okay, let me come out of the closet and admit, its really Seth Rogen that chaps my hide. I've never found him appealing as an actor, or human being - I don't think he's funny and I certainly can't take him seriously.

    All that being said I've kind of come around to wanting to see this. Not that I will, I don't even go see movies I really WANT to see any more. The one's I've seen are always pretty much what I expect to see out of the movie(s) going in: not bad, not great, just barfingly bland. Each movie I wait for to come out nowadays I mostly hope that they just don't suck. I'm sadly happy when I feel like I didn't completely waste 2 hours of my life sitting in the darkened theater. They certainly are not worth the price of admission, and if you are hungry and thirsty...

    Great review sir. I have a few more books I need to buy though.

    P.S. Saw the trailer for THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG. I wept bitter tears. If before I swore I wouldn't see it the moment I walked out of the first one, I triple swore with two middle fingers in the air upon seeing the trailer.

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  2. the movie starts out bad and seems like a bunch of buddies having more fun than the audience but then it gets better

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