In review: This is the End

The idea of Seth Rogan, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson being in the same movie was just too good to pass up. Was it hilarious? Yes. Is it worth paying money to see in theatres? Not exactly. Allow me to elaborate.

This Is The End tells the story of a group of Hollywood friends who remain the sole survivors in the aftermath of a global apocalypse. Jay Baruchel arrives in Los Angeles to visit his long time friend Seth Rogan, and after a weed infused afternoon, the two arrive half-baked to a house-warming party hosted by James Franco. This was quite the party, with a guest list including Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Emma Watson, Rihanna, and an incredibly coked-out Michael Cera. Pandemonium strikes and as hell rises to Earth, a giant pit opens and viciously consumes the Hollywood B-list.

It is eventually revealed that this is the apocalypse the Book of Revelation predicts. Those who have been ‘bad’ are killed, while those who have been ‘good’ are brought to heaven by blue beams of light. The majority of the movie takes place in Franco’s house where the surviving group attempts to make sense of what’s happening. Hallucinogens are consumed, Pineapple Express 2 is created, and Jonah Hill becomes possessed by the devil. In the midst of performing an exorcism and learning that they can drink their own urine, the group realizes that they must prove themselves worthy of being brought to heaven.

This is the third movie Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg have worked on together, the other two being Superbad and Pineapple Express. Having seen all three, I’m of the opinion that with each new movie they produce, they slowly lose their comedic edge. Superbad had a believable storyline and provided simple but effective humour. Pineapple Express took things a bit farther, and it required a second viewing for me to appreciate it fully. I feel as though this may be the case for This Is The End as well.

Perhaps I set my expectations too high in assuming that a movie jam-packed with all of recent years’ comedy stars could do no wrong. While this movie had me laughing, I couldn’t help but get lost in the loosely written script that went to extreme measures to generate humour. For me, the real humour ended as soon as the apocalypse began. The comedy was in your face, and instead of letting the humour come through the story, it felt like every moment of the film was trying really hard to make you laugh.

If you’re a fan of goofy, mostly senseless comedy that is best viewed under the influence, you will love This Is The End.

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