Movie Review: This is the End

IMDB, This is the End“This is the End” on IMDB

Comedy, 107 Minutes, 2013

This was so stupid.  Stupid and silly.  Stupid, silly and completely freakin’ hilarious.  It’s not really the kind of movie that you’ll watch twice – most of the laughs are surprise shockers – but it’s definitely the kind of movie that you’ll laugh your ass off at.

The premise is simple and amazingly brilliant.  How would Hollywood’s biggest stars react to the biblical, literal rapture?  The answer is: “Not very well.”  Everybody in the movie plays themselves, or rather, versions of themselves; caricatures really.

Jay Baruchel [IMDB] is visiting Seth Rogan [IMDB] in L.A.  Being pretty anti-celebrity he wants to spend his visit hunkered down smoking weed and playing video games.  Seth, attempting to bring his friends together, convinces him to go James Franco’s [IMDB] housewarming party.  While there all hell breaks loose.  Literally.

All the good folks are sucked up bodily into heaven while flaming, infernal pits open across the landscape releasing biblical demons.  This entire sequence, featuring dozens of cameos, is the absolute highlight of the movie.  Craig Robinson [IMDB], especially, has some of his finest moments here.  After the initial noise and fury our group, with the additions of Jonah Hill [IMDB] and Danny McBride [IMDB], end up barricaded in Franco’s house trying to survive.

There’s a huge amount of positive chemistry between the stars and dozens of in-jokes and references to please long-time fans.  The group fights boredom, for example, by filming a ridiculous sequel to “Pineapple Express” [IMDB].  Franco’s homo-erotic obsession with Rogan and Hill’s effeminate passive-aggressiveness are likely inventions for the movie but still work.

There are complaints, of course.  With the exception of a brief, hilarious, segment featuring Emma Watson [IMDB] there are essentially no female roles.  I’ve never really understood the success that McBride has enjoyed so I was pleased to see him as the primary douchebag although I would have been more pleased to see him excluded all-together.  The movie also ends, like many comedies of this generation, pretty weakly.

This is unapologetically a “fans only” situation.  For all its originality the actual comedy here is exactly what you’d expect from this group.  A quick test, if you’re unsure: does Godzilla-sized Satan swinging his Statue of Liberty-sized cock around as he rampages over the Hollywood Hills sound funny to you?  Then you may enjoy this movie!

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