This is the End
by Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)
There was a time last December when it was reported that the Mayans had predicted the world’s end, the proverbial apocalypse…Judgment Day. It ended up being just another day for the world, but six months later, it was time for a film to have a little fun with the whole “end of days” thing. This Is the End comes at a perfect time, delivering the funniest film of the year to date. And who else would deliver such entertainment than Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, who also co-wrote Pineapple Express and Superbad.
Jay Baruchel arrives in Los Angeles to spend time with his best friend, Seth Rogen. He’s not a huge fan of Los Angeles but he’ll put up with it for a couple days. After some video games and weed (of course), they head over to a party at James Franco’s new mansion, hosting such guests as Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Rihanna, Kevin Hart and Aziz Ansari, just to name a few. After a quick trip to the store, the Rapture happens and the Chosen are lifted into Heaven. Of course, no one at Franco’s party ascends to Heaven. And once the Rapture gets into full effect (earthquakes, fires, demons coming out of the pits of Hell), the survivors hole up in Franco’s house and try to figure out how they’ll survive the end with a limited supply of food, alcohol, drugs and one porn magazine.
All of the actors in the film play a version of themselves. The six principals, while three-dimensional characters, focus more on a single dimension. For example, Jonah Hill is the sweetheart guy who tries to keep everyone calm and cool and be there for support whereas Danny McBride is the douche that you are friends with but never really want to hang out with. Some of the real fun comes from characters that have less screen time. Michael Cera is hilarious as a butt-smacking, cokehead (there’s a funny bit with the Superbad trio), while Emma Watson breaks her Hermione stereotype, playing an ax-wielding, profanity-spitting woman trying to save her butt, literally. The overall relationships between the characters and how they survive together and individually is what drives this movie, and having such a funny group of actors together is only a recipe for hilarity.
With a comedy based on the end of the world, one may expect the CGI to be a little cheesy and subpar, but This Is the End actually has some very nice visuals. The Demons in the film bear a resemblance to the Balrok in The Fellowship of the Rings, and some of the ground chasing demons look like a 2013 rendition of the Ghostbusters demon dogs. When it comes to the destruction of the world, there is plenty of fire and destruction, and it looks believable enough to give the audience the feel that things just aren’t going too well before we’re brought right back to the comedy. Rogen and Goldberg did their work when it came to this film.
This Is the End is really an expansion of the short film Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse, written by Rogen and Goldberg and starring Jay and Seth, dealing with the same subject matter. It is totally conceivable that all of these actors got together at a party, and after a night of going hard, came up with the idea to make this into a full length feature film. And we are thankful they did. With the funniest film of the year now in theaters, it gives us a time to laugh in between all the action sequences in Fast & Furious 6, Man of Steel, World War Z, The Lone Ranger… need I go on? Being released but two days before Man of Steel is probably going to derail any true hopes of having a huge box-office take for This Is the End, but it’s definitely a wonderful film which is full of comedy. A word of caution: if you are easily offended by drug use, language, nudity, porn magazines, or fear demons that come from the depths of Hell to kill those not taken to Heaven, this may not be for you. If you don’t mind those elements, you’re in for a fun ride. So get out to see This Is the End before the real Rapture happens!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars