Review: This is the End

Poster for 2013 comedy film This is the End

Genre: Comedy
Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 28th June 2013
Runtime: 107 minutes
Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Writer: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson
Synopsis: Some of Hollywood’s biggest comedy stars are partying at James Franco’s house. Then, the apocalypse starts.

 

 

 

For years now, the Apatow brand of Hollywood comedy has meant that a select few faces appear in virtually every funny movie to come out of America. Now, of course, they’re successful enough to produce something self-indulgent to an insane degree. And it’s only a bit funny.

Jay Baruchel returns home to meet Seth Rogen. They head out to a drug-fuelled party at James Franco’s new house where Michael Cera is getting lucky with the ladies. The night is cut short, however, when a huge hole appears in the ground, blue beams carry people up to heaven and a small bunch of actors must fight to survive the apocalypse.

The opening of This is the End feels a lot like a game of push and pull between the film’s warring ideas. On the one hand, there is the self-aware humour and exploration of the hyperreality that works really well. The other side though is the irresistible pull for Rogen and co-writer Evan Goldberg of their favourite staples: dicks and drugs. Too often throughout This is the End, it’s the latter brand of humour that wins the day.

There are moments of great fun though. Michael Cera’s cameo as a drug-abusing chick magnet is genius and Harry Potter star Emma Watson’s axe-wielding appearance is only let down by a pitiful, predictable set of rape jokes.

Unfortunately, these moments are few and far between amongst This is the End’s generic armoury of puerile frat humour. It’s a woeful wasted opportunity, especially when the overwrought and utterly ridiculous finale comes along. If the idea of celebrities being caught up in the apocalypse isn’t already silly, a cannibalism sub-plot and a very famous Hollywood star turning up in a gimp suit push This is the End right over the edge.

It’s a real disappointment because there is obviously a good film lurking somewhere amidst the utter mess that This is the End turned out to be. A tighter script and less reliance on the lowest common denominator could’ve rescued it from the over-populated comedy graveyard in which it now resides.

They’re also planning a sequel. To a film about the apocalypse. Called This is the End.

No. Me neither.

3/10

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