By Justin Smith.
(Please excuse the site as we are rebuilding following a site hack).
Another “the world is ending” flick? A comedy, at that? There are a lot of reasons the premise of “This is the End” starring Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson should scream ‘cliché’ or ‘overdone’. There are countless “world is ending, or will end soon, or has ended already” films out there already, and even some already that deal with the issue in comedic ways. Yet, there are also plenty of reasons to go see “This is the End”, chief among them being the absolutely hilarious way in which these actors carry the movie. Despite it being a tired road tread before, “This is the End” thrives as a comedy – mainly due to its cast.
If you get past the fact that you’re watching another movie where the world ends – this film’s premise actually manages to be fairly unique in its field. The above named actors play themselves – with several other cameos from the likes of other celebrities, such as Rihanna, Michael Cera, and a particularly badass Emma Watson. They are all present at a party when the biblical apocalypse begins, and they hold James Franco’s Hollywood home together as the world ends.
In all honesty it can be difficult to judge the comedic value of a film, mainly because people have wildly varying tastes in what “is funny”. Yet, even myself not being the largest fan of the Rogen/Franco/Hill line of comedy, the film still succeeded in making me laugh throughout. It’s extremely crude and ridiculous, and the way these celebrities deal with the apocalypse around them is funny in itself.
The characters are without a doubt the best aspect of the film. They each fill hilarious roles for the group and their interactions with one another deliver joke after joke, making it a laugh-out-loud movie throughout. Depending on your opinion of a film like “Pineapple Express” will determine whether you laugh nonstop, or just most of the time. Either way you’re getting what you paid for, a thoroughly hilarious movie based on an already ridiculous premise. The film takes what is old and tired, like an apocalypse flick, and completely runs away with it in the classic crude humor of what you would expect from Rogen, Hill, and Franco.
That might be the film’s biggest problem, though – the fact that it really doesn’t set itself further apart from something like “Pineapple Express”. It’s certainly not a worse film, but its comedy is very similar. It brings together more hilarious talent (especially with Hill and Robinson), but overall it feels like “a Seth Rogen movie” that you would expect, just with more comedians and set during the apocalypse. What matters though in the end is that this film will make you laugh. I wouldn’t be confident in saying this is the best comedy in their careers or even this year, but I am absolutely confident in saying this film is hilarious and worthwhile.