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“This Is The End” Review

This-Is-The-End-2013

Even though I’m not a huge fan of most of the actors involved in this movie, I knew I wanted to see This Is The End as soon as the red-band trailer came out.

And I have to give most of the credit to the image of an ax-wielding Emma Watson and the line “Hermione just stole all of our shit” for cementing that desire to go and see this movie.

So, This Is The End is an apocalyptic, meta-ish comedy (with elements of horror) starring actors playing on-screen, caricatured versions of themselves. The six principal characters are Seth Rogen (this movie is also his directorial debut), Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill (with an ear piercing), and Danny McBride. And, as you would expect from this sort of meta comedy, they’re all very self-involved and egocentric. (It’s perhaps indicative of the actors’ real-life narcissism in deciding to play exaggerated versions of themselves in the movie, in the first place.)

Besides Emma Watson, there are a number of other celebrity cameos – concentrated in the beginning of the film – as well, including Rihanna, Kevin Hart, and Aziz Ansari.

It begins with Jay Baruchel arriving in Los Angeles. He spends the day getting high and playing video games with buddy Seth Rogen, and then later he’s roped into going to a party at James Franco’s house despite his protestations. The majority of the film takes place inside the house, after most of the party-goers are swallowed by a sinkhole that appears in the front yard. Baruchel is the first to assess the situation and realize it’s the Biblical end-of-the-world, complete with demons and hell-fire.dSBSEyY

Interestingly, the decision to have these actors play themselves in the movie wasn’t nearly as effective as the filmmakers probably wanted it to be. And I also have to say that parts of this movie dragged… a lot. That would have to be my biggest complaint. While the film picks up steam once all hell breaks loose (literally), it loses it somewhere in the middle and towards the end. I was feeling antsy to leave the theater towards the last half-hour or so, which is why I suggest renting This Is The End rather than going to watch it in theaters.

There is some great meta humor and references to the character’s real-life acting credentials like Pineapple Express and 127 Hours, as well as references to classic horror movies like The Exorcist. There are some pretty disturbing moments in regard to rape and sexual abuse, however, which I couldn’t really muster a laugh for. Disregarding that, it’s still a very funny, completely nonsensical movie. Stand-outs were Michael Cera, playing a coked out version of himself, and the insufferable Danny McBride, who delivers some of the best comedic moments of the film.

three and a half stars

  • Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco
  • Directed by: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
  • Running Time: 107 minutes
  • Genre: Comedy, Action

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