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Review: This is the End

Jun. 12, 2013by: Chris Bumbray

PLOT: Actor Jay Baruchel visits his estranged best friend Seth Rogen in L.A. After a day of getting stoned and playing video games, they head over to James Franco's house to party with Rogen's Hollywood friends, but their night of debauchery is interrupted by a series of cataclysmic events that just might mark the start of the apocalypse.

REVIEW: THIS IS THE END is one of those movies that's just painfully funny at times. By this, I mean it's the type of movie that makes you laugh so hard that you'll be doubled over in laughter, while the audience around you cackles so loudly you'll miss huge chunks of dialogue. At times it's so funny that it actually hurts, and when it was over I was hoarse from having laughed so hard.

THIS IS THE END is particularly funny if you've been following the careers of this gang since their early days on FREAKS & GEEKS and UNDECLARED. There are tons of in-jokes that poke fun of their numerous hits and misses. Nothing is sacred, not even their most painful flops, with jabs made at THE GREEN HORNET, YOUR HIGHNESS, SPIDER-MAN 3 and many others. Heck, Franco even spends half the movie carrying around his prop gun from FLYBOYS.

When I first heard that the actors would be playing exaggerated versions of themselves, I wasn't sure the gag would sustain a full movie. Thankfully I was wrong as this idea- which could have gone horribly awry- ends up being the thing that makes the movie. Everyone plays themselves as exactly what critics or non-fans have accused them of being in the past. Rogen's the schlubby stoner, Franco's pompous, McBride's a selfish hell-raiser, Robinson's the one-joke take your panties off guy, Hill's ultra-fake, and is constantly basking in the glow of his MONEYBALL Oscar nomination, while Baruchel acts above it all, as he's yet to sell-out by refusing to relocate to the town he says he hates.

As most of these guys have been acting together for 10+ years, you can bet their chemistry is spot on, and with Rogen himself directing (with frequent collaborator and pal Evan Goldberg) everyone's given full reign to exploit their talents in a way a lot of their other movies haven't allowed them to do in the past. For my money the best part of the movie is the opening party at Franco's house, which is jam-packed with cameos by Rogen and Baruchel's famous friends, including a brilliantly coke-addled Michael Cera, who's so good you'll wish he was one of the stars.Everyone brings their A-game, especially James Franco who brilliantly sends himself up, with his house being full of memorabilia like a giant CLOCKWORK ORANGE style penis sculpture (a sly nod to his work in gay-themed movies like INTERIOR LEATHER BAR, THE BROKEN TOWER, MILK, HOWL, and more) and jabs at his perceived pretentiousness.

Everyone seems keen to take the piss out of themselves, and that can't help but make THIS IS THE END an incredibly likable movie. For a movie about the end of the world, it's surprisingly charming, and Rogen and Goldberg seem to be taking a page out of movies like SHAUN OF THE DEAD and GHOSTBUSTERS. It's not as heartfelt or as brilliant as either of those movies, but it comes closer than you'd think. The no-holds-barred gore (with effects by Greg Nicotero), polished lensing by DP Brandon Trost (look for his brother, THE FP's eye-patched Jason Trost in a quick cameo) and the suitably grandiose score by Henry Jackman helps, as it makes it polished enough that even while it's non-stop funny, the movie itself is never a joke.

All in all, THIS IS THE END is a pretty brilliant comedy, and more than enough to not only make up for some of the stars' own misfires (like Rogen's THE GUILT TRIP), but also redeems the summer of 2013, which has been rough going for comedy thanks to movies like THE HANGOVER 3 and THE INTERNSHIP. Luckily, THIS IS THE END is only the first of a slew of comedies (with THE HEAT and the similarly themed THE WORLD'S END looking particularly promising) coming out before the end of the summer. But, even if this wasn't the case, THIS IS THE END has enough laughs for half-a-dozen movies, and definitely should not be missed.

Extra Tidbit: This also gives FAST & FURIOUS 6 a run for its money for cameo of the year.
Source: JoBlo.com

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2:21PM on 06/17/2013
observation: There were a lot of F words in this movie.
observation: There were a lot of F words in this movie.
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+0
8:40AM on 06/16/2013

"...while it's non-stop funny, the movie itself is never a joke."

I agree completely with that until the last sequence. They went for one too many jokes with that ending and it took away from the more Shaun of the Dead quality feel you referred to. Still, the movie was hilarious and a great time.
I agree completely with that until the last sequence. They went for one too many jokes with that ending and it took away from the more Shaun of the Dead quality feel you referred to. Still, the movie was hilarious and a great time.
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12:03AM on 06/16/2013

Loved It

Like almost every "Apatow gang" flick, I enjoy it a first time and then like it more and more every time after that. Same goes for this. Really liked it Tuesday night, took my sister tonight and loved it even more! Going to quote this one quite a bit.
Like almost every "Apatow gang" flick, I enjoy it a first time and then like it more and more every time after that. Same goes for this. Really liked it Tuesday night, took my sister tonight and loved it even more! Going to quote this one quite a bit.
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4:39PM on 06/14/2013

this movie ruled

saw it opening night and haven't laughed so hard in awhile. great film, funny, clever, dirty, everything i wanted it to be. go see it.
saw it opening night and haven't laughed so hard in awhile. great film, funny, clever, dirty, everything i wanted it to be. go see it.
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8:30PM on 06/12/2013

Perhaps it was just the crowd I was with...

Or maybe I need to get my funny bone checked but I just wasn't feeling it as much as I hoped to. I definitely didn't think it was bad, but I just didn't find it as funny as I expected or something. I love the cast and their films and I definitely think this movie had some bright moments but it didn't blow me away with how funny it was or anything.
Fuck... I feel like I'm starting to sound like a grumpy old man.
Or maybe I need to get my funny bone checked but I just wasn't feeling it as much as I hoped to. I definitely didn't think it was bad, but I just didn't find it as funny as I expected or something. I love the cast and their films and I definitely think this movie had some bright moments but it didn't blow me away with how funny it was or anything.
Fuck... I feel like I'm starting to sound like a grumpy old man.
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4:54PM on 06/14/2013
I get you on this. I felt the same way. I mean, I laughed and had a good time, but walking out I just wasn't as initially impressed with it as I have been with Pineapple Express or some of the other Judd Apatow alumni flicks like Goon or Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
I get you on this. I felt the same way. I mean, I laughed and had a good time, but walking out I just wasn't as initially impressed with it as I have been with Pineapple Express or some of the other Judd Apatow alumni flicks like Goon or Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
9:23AM on 06/12/2013

so many cameos!

It really is a great movie, and the 2 best cameos come around the end. Theres the one everyone will be talking about, but my favorite is the one just before the credits.
It really is a great movie, and the 2 best cameos come around the end. Theres the one everyone will be talking about, but my favorite is the one just before the credits.
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8:54AM on 06/12/2013
I always enjoy reading your reviews Chris. So excited to see this.
I always enjoy reading your reviews Chris. So excited to see this.
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8:46AM on 06/12/2013
So based off the two reviews on this website, we're looking at the best comedy of the year I suppose.
So based off the two reviews on this website, we're looking at the best comedy of the year I suppose.
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7:41AM on 06/12/2013

Review

Review reads like a 9 or 10 but you gave it an 8. So what's reason for -2?
Review reads like a 9 or 10 but you gave it an 8. So what's reason for -2?
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12:41PM on 06/12/2013
Yeah, I didn't want to be the one who asks that question but in this case it's justified. Not a single negative comment about the flick, he "doubled over from laughter" and yet an 8.
Yeah, I didn't want to be the one who asks that question but in this case it's justified. Not a single negative comment about the flick, he "doubled over from laughter" and yet an 8.
5:33AM on 06/12/2013

Awesome

Saw this movie tonight, loved it!
Saw this movie tonight, loved it!
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5:23AM on 06/12/2013
I am so excited to watch this movie! Might have been a bit silly to pin it against Man of Steel but this comes out 2 days before that so perhaps it won't be a big problem. Regardless, I'll be seeing this at least twice.
I am so excited to watch this movie! Might have been a bit silly to pin it against Man of Steel but this comes out 2 days before that so perhaps it won't be a big problem. Regardless, I'll be seeing this at least twice.
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+2
12:57AM on 06/12/2013
While I don't think I laughed as much as you, I did laugh consistently because the entire film was hilarious. I love that this pulled no punches. They went all out with both making fun of themselves and the apocalypse issue. Everyone here was such an extreme version of themselves, you'd swear they actually thought they were the way they acted in the film. Suffice to say, definitely worth the watch.
While I don't think I laughed as much as you, I did laugh consistently because the entire film was hilarious. I love that this pulled no punches. They went all out with both making fun of themselves and the apocalypse issue. Everyone here was such an extreme version of themselves, you'd swear they actually thought they were the way they acted in the film. Suffice to say, definitely worth the watch.
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12:42AM on 06/12/2013

Can't Wait To See This!

I love all the actors in this movie so I've been looking forward to this movie ever since I saw the first trailer. I'm so happy that it's been getting great reviews. Plus, EMMA WATSON is in it!!!! Love her!!!
I love all the actors in this movie so I've been looking forward to this movie ever since I saw the first trailer. I'm so happy that it's been getting great reviews. Plus, EMMA WATSON is in it!!!! Love her!!!
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+45
12:42AM on 06/12/2013

Um...

Only thing that's wrong with this review is that you said The Heat looks promising... Wrong it looks like garbage.
Only thing that's wrong with this review is that you said The Heat looks promising... Wrong it looks like garbage.
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7:11AM on 06/12/2013
And you're right...
And you're right...
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