by Josh Batchelder
A new comedy classic has arrived in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s masterful creation, This Is The End. The ultimate apocalypse movie with too many celeb/pop culture references to count, this is a film that can easily be considered the comedy of the year.
James Franco is having a huge party at his place, and all his best buds are in attendance. Jay Baruchel is with his best bud Seth Rogen, but he’s not big on the party scene and really isn’t feeling much like staying. When the two take a trip to a store to blow off some steam, the apocalypse comes in terrifying fashion, complete with demons, rapture, hellfire, and sinkholes.
Going into the movie knowing very little about what to expect, I adored every moment of This Is The End. The direction is stellar and the music selection is comprised of tunes you won’t soon be able to get out of your head. The six lead actors play off each other and every other actor to make an appearance in the film delivers, sometimes mocking themselves in highly memorable fashion.
For the first third of the film, Michael Cera kind of steals the show as a coked-out crazed version of himself, slapping around Rihanna and getting blown in Franco’s bathroom. My favorite cameo comes by way of Channing Tatum, who clearly has a sense of a humor and has cemented my respect by appearing. There is also a certain boy band that cameos at the very end, bringing back a familiar 90’s tune and ending the film on a high note.
More than the cameos, there is a ton to be said about the phenomenal performances from the six leads. It’s difficult enough to maintain consistent character arcs, story, and one-liners with one two characters, let alone six. There is no clear stand-out among the group, as they all fight for the the title on more than one occasion. James Franco is super laid-back and obsessed with Seth Rogen. Jay Baruchel is best buds with Seth and has trouble trying to live with the rest of the crew. Craig Robinson tries to stay on everyone’s good side. Seth Rogen is the same lovable character you’d imagine him to be in real life. Danny McBride is hated by everyone and causes a major rift amongst the others with his outlandish behavior, annoying none as much as he annoys James. Jonah Hill is overly nice to everyone around him and always sticking up for them. Throw these six people into one house with little food and water to spare during an apocalypse. What’s the worst that can happen? Each actor seems to have a blast digging into each other and more than one joke is made at the expense of films they have done in the past.
This is a technically very well-made film as well as being solidly acted, and there are lines you will be quoting for days to come. I want to see it again, immediately. I still think I prefer the original title (Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse) but I’m totally okay with the new one as well, as it pretty accurately portrays the somber mood and gives you a hint of the darkly perfect comedy.
The horror elements of the movie are done very well and easily stay in sync with the comedy elements, which come fast and fresh. Once you hit the faux trailer for Pineapple Express 2, it’s clear that This Is The End isn’t slowing down any time soon. This is a movie to be remembered for years to come. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are my heroes. This Is The End is the best apocalyptic celebs-playing-themselves horror comedy you’re ever likely to see. / A+