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Review: This is the End

Jun. 3, 2013by: Jason Adams

PLOT: Famous friends Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride are all stuck together as they face the end of times.

REVIEW: I'm torn. Not by this movie, which is hilarious and potentially one of the breakout comedy surprises of the year, but by the fact that I don't want to give anything away. The biggest ace up THIS IS THE END's sleeve is its unpredictability. I promise you this movie goes to places you wouldn't imagine. It gets dark. It gets messed up. To reveal anything more than the basic setup would do a disservice to the fun, "anything goes" nature of the flick.

Most everything in this redband trailer happens within the first 20 minutes. The party scene that opens the film is a blast; chock full of very brief but memorable appearances from Apatow vets like Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aziz Ansari, as well as random newcomers Rihanna and Emma Watson. Everyone is pretty self-deprecating (except poor Martin Starr who doesn't get a single line), but it's a coked-out Michael Cera who wins with a legendary self-portrayal not unlike Neil Patrick Harris in HAROLD AND KUMAR. And when things go down and the Earth begins swallowing people up, it's fun to see so many recognizable faces get dispatched in horrible, violent ways.

After that, it's down to business and pretty much the rest of THIS IS THE END takes place in James Franco's house with the six surviving actors coming to terms with the apocalypse and trying to endure in spite of how "soft" they are. The result is essentially what you'd expect: plenty of drug-fueled weirdness, their patented off-the-cuff dialogue, and consistent laughs. The plot is lean at best and most of the substantial second act is just a series of random escalating situations—from discussions about which of them is more likely to be "rapey" to panicked searches for food and water to everyone eventually just getting high and making homemade sequels to their films. And let's just say it goes from there.

Against all odds, THIS IS THE END proves to not be just an excuse for six friends to work together (ala GROWN UPS). Sure, everyone's clearly having fun, but nobody is resting on their laurels (ala GROWN UPS 2). Parts of the movie are ridiculous and stupid, but lovingly so. Some of the jokes rely on shock value (there may be more than one uncomfortable image of a penis), but there are also plenty of creative touches and clever nods to everything from THE EXORCIST to GHOSTBUSTERS and even the gang's own movies. (A FLYBOYS reference? Sure!) It's a balancing act when spending a large amount of time with few characters in a confined space, but writers/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg pull it off, finding polished ways to break things up both visually and story-wise. There are even a couple decent action beats and effects-heavy scenes.

Most of the fun comes from the fact that these guys are playing themselves as immature spoiled actors and if you're longtime fans of theirs, it's even better. (Franco continually referring to himself and Rogen as "Freaks" put a smile on my face.) Everyone's willing to poke fun at heightened versions of their on-screen personas—Rogen the stoner, Franco the artsy serious actor, Baruchel the Canadian outsider, Robinson the panty dropper, Hill the gunsmith, McBride the self-involved dick who's obsessed with anal sex—but with a glimmer of sincerity behind it. There's more than one instance that addresses how they've all dealt with celebrity—who's changed over the years, who's sold out, etc. (At one point, a paparazzo says to Rogen, "You play the same guy in every movie, right?") What's important is that their chemistry together has never been better, with each actor getting their moment to shine, even in some not-so-pleasant ways. And as with the original JAY AND SETH VS. THE APOCALPYSE short, Rogen and Baruchel are still the heart of the story. If there's any grounding factor to the complete insanity that goes on here, it's their friendship.

Obviously, if you're already not a fan of these actors and their style of "stoner" comedy, then this is not the movie to convince you otherwise. But if you love PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, SUPERBAD or the non-Katherine Heigl parts of KNOCKED UP, it's a safe bet you'll really enjoy THIS IS THE END. There are so many memorable moments or quotable lines I'd like to mention, but I'll let you experience them for yourself.

And I'm calling it now: THIS IS THE END has the best cameo of 2013. Don't let anyone ruin it for you.

Extra Tidbit: That ending Again, no spoilers, but suffice it to say my girlfriend lost her freaking mind right before the credits.
Source: JoBlo.com

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-7
2:49AM on 06/11/2013

Not a 9/10

Not a 9/10...are you f'ing mad? Yes it was very funny and I love dick and fart jokes and the references AND the entire cast, but not a 9/10. Props to Rogen and Goldberg for doing their directorial debut - great job to them and props. But this is definitely not one of 'those' comedies you can watch over and over. Still had fun though, don't get me wrong - but Dumb and Dumber is a 9/10 sorta flick.
Not a 9/10...are you f'ing mad? Yes it was very funny and I love dick and fart jokes and the references AND the entire cast, but not a 9/10. Props to Rogen and Goldberg for doing their directorial debut - great job to them and props. But this is definitely not one of 'those' comedies you can watch over and over. Still had fun though, don't get me wrong - but Dumb and Dumber is a 9/10 sorta flick.
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-4
1:45AM on 06/11/2013

Not a 9/10

Not a 9/10...are you f'ing mad? Yes it was very funny and I love dick and fart jokes and the references AND the entire cast, but not a 9/10. Props to Rogen and Goldberg for doing their directorial debut - great job to them and props. But this is definitely not one of 'those' comedies you can watch over and over. Still had fun though, don't get me wrong - but Dumb and Dumber is a 9/10 sorta flick.
Not a 9/10...are you f'ing mad? Yes it was very funny and I love dick and fart jokes and the references AND the entire cast, but not a 9/10. Props to Rogen and Goldberg for doing their directorial debut - great job to them and props. But this is definitely not one of 'those' comedies you can watch over and over. Still had fun though, don't get me wrong - but Dumb and Dumber is a 9/10 sorta flick.
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+2
7:08PM on 06/03/2013
Everything I've seen and heard about this movie has been awesome. Can't wait.
Everything I've seen and heard about this movie has been awesome. Can't wait.
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5:59PM on 06/03/2013
I saw a screening of this last week, and it was without a doubt the best comedy of at least the past 5 years. Granted if you don't like the actors in the movie or think dick and drug jokes are immature this won't change your mind, but I could not stop laughing from beginning to end. I loved it. This is the first movie in a long time where I am actually excited to go pay money in a theater to go see it again and cannot wait until I can own a copy on DVD.
I saw a screening of this last week, and it was without a doubt the best comedy of at least the past 5 years. Granted if you don't like the actors in the movie or think dick and drug jokes are immature this won't change your mind, but I could not stop laughing from beginning to end. I loved it. This is the first movie in a long time where I am actually excited to go pay money in a theater to go see it again and cannot wait until I can own a copy on DVD.
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3:55PM on 06/03/2013
I want to see it, but for the future, letting us know there's a great cameo, kind of ruins the cameo.
I want to see it, but for the future, letting us know there's a great cameo, kind of ruins the cameo.
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2:29PM on 06/03/2013
That's right. Take that "World's End" and your horribly unfunny brand of British Comedy. We'll see that movie get a lower review score for sure. BRING ON THE THUMBS DOWN!
That's right. Take that "World's End" and your horribly unfunny brand of British Comedy. We'll see that movie get a lower review score for sure. BRING ON THE THUMBS DOWN!
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8:13AM on 06/03/2013
Thrilled that this has turned out to be as funny as it looks.
Thrilled that this has turned out to be as funny as it looks.
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7:48AM on 06/03/2013

Nice

Looks great.
Looks great.
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4:28AM on 06/03/2013
The trailer was hilarious & luckily you mentioned everything in the red band trailer happens early on, i was afraid it gave away all the best parts & lines. I do love the cast & all their movies, will definitely be checking this out & I believe it will be this summer's sleeper hit.
The trailer was hilarious & luckily you mentioned everything in the red band trailer happens early on, i was afraid it gave away all the best parts & lines. I do love the cast & all their movies, will definitely be checking this out & I believe it will be this summer's sleeper hit.
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1:30AM on 06/03/2013
very excited for this. i love the ideas of actors/comedians 'playing themselves'
very excited for this. i love the ideas of actors/comedians 'playing themselves'
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1:00AM on 06/03/2013

Awesome

This was number one on my comedy list for the summer, glad it got such a great review, I cant wait to see it
This was number one on my comedy list for the summer, glad it got such a great review, I cant wait to see it
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