This Is The End

1 Jul

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When comedy movie stars, pop singers and many other celebrities attend a house party at James Franco’s new house, they end up getting an experience none of them could have expected. For, whilst they drink and dance and take drugs, the world starts falling to pieces. It has all the signs of the apocalypse; will the stars survive or is this the end for them?

The movie stars Seth Rogen, who also co-wrote and co-directed it. Like everybody else in the film, he is playing himself (or at least an exaggerated version of…). We open with him meeting his best friend Jay Baruchel in Los Angeles. After an amusing early scene in which they watch TV, drink and get high, Rogen suggests attending Franco’s housewarming party, to which Baruchel reluctantly agrees. He isn’t so comfortable in LA, claiming to either not like or not know many of the celebrities there and not being too keen on ‘the lifestyle’. One amusing aside that runs throughout the film is Baruchel’s dislike of Jonah Hill. Rogen regularly assures Jay that Jonah is, “like, the nicest guy in the whole world”. Hill is excellent at living up to that role. Often in heated debates, his first reaction is to jump in and look after Jay’s interests, which is always completely unnecessary. His friendliness is overwhelming and provides regular chuckles.

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I must say I found the entire cast to be in good form here. TV shows such as Extras and Curb Your Enthusiasm have helped make it easy for celebrities to send themselves up, so much so that’s almost the ‘in’ thing to do now. Each member of this cast is happy to mock themselves and their public persona and it pays off; regular references are made to their perceived personalities that are almost always funny.

Make no mistake though; This Is The End is more than just an excuse for a few famous actors to make a film is which they crack self-deprecating jokes. There is a good tale to be told here too. Maybe it was just me, but the story unfolded in a way I didn’t fully expect and kept me completely entertained throughout. I had expected a fairly light comedy and, whilst for large parts that is exactly what this is, there’s more to it. There is a real sense of danger running through the film, creating the sense that a main character could be offed at any time.

There is some impressive CGI work throughout the movie, and particularly at the end. I don’t want to give anything away, because I found that my lack of prior knowledge of this movie proved extremely helpful in terms of my overall enjoyment. I’ve seen the trailer plenty of times but, to be fair, that actually revealed thankfully little of what was to come. Suffice to say though, the characters face a situation at the end that uses some impressive effects. At times, portions of the latter part of the film verges on being genuinely creepy.

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There are some memorable scenes throughout the film. One in particularly involves James Franco admonishing Danny McBride for, shall we say, ‘enjoying’ himself in inappropriate ways. Their argument is crude but I can’t deny that it made me laugh a lot. Danny McBride probably has the best, and certainly the most surreal story arc of anybody here. His entrance is one of the more amusing scenes of the film, and I’ll bet you won’t guess how things turn out for him in the end. Of all the brief celebrity cameos, Emma Watson produces one of the most memorable. Rather than playing an exaggerated version of herself, she has gone completely against type here. Casting her into the role was a fantastic move and you have to hand it to her for the way she plays it.

I had been looking forward to this film for several weeks prior to seeing it, but in truth I was unsure as to how much I’d enjoy it. I had expected a largely throw-away comedy, but in all honesty this is far more than that. Sure, some of the jokes are forgettable but This Is The End has a steady stream of guffaws flowing through it for the whole of it’s run time. Creating a surreal situation and then making excellent use of the resulting environment, mixed with famous actors more than happy to mock themselves proves a good formula. Well-written cameos boost the surreal factor. The end is bizarrely fantastic, and added to the real sense of danger, the story is very good. In a year that has included such poor comedy films as Identity Thief and the so-bad-I-could-barely-believe it A Haunted House, This Is The End stands out as one of the comedy highlights of 2013 to date.

7/10

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One Response to “This Is The End”

  1. At The Back July 3, 2013 at 08:50 #

    Weirdly my review is much more negative than yours but we still came to the same mark out of ten.

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