Reel Freak

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Reel Review – This Is The End (2013)

this_is_the-endDirector: Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg
Rated: R
Release Date: June 12nd, 2013
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride

If you plan on watching This is the End, please remember that it is a comedy, and should be taken lightly.  This is a tale of self-righteous versions of six actors (Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride) who face a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles.  If you are one who takes movies completely seriously, this isn’t the film for you.  I recently re-watched This is the End a few times since it premiered on Starz; and it’s just as funny.

When Jay Baruchel flies to Los Angeles to spend time with his old friend and actor buddy Seth Rogen, he ends up getting dragged to a party at James Franco’s new house.  In a haze of alcohol, drugs and lots of celebrity cameos, the unexpected occurs around them; the apocalypse.  Secure in Franco’s home, a group of actors including Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride must fight to stay alive as the world crumbles around them, while facing the annoyance of each other’s company.

this-is-the-end

This is the directorial debut of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, adapted from their 2007 short film Jay and Seth versus the Apocalypse.  I think the idea to use the actors’ real names for their characters was the icing on the cake.  The motive of the movie is to create glorified, self-centered versions of each actor, and to see just how much they can bitch at each other when stuck in the same house for a prolonged period of time.  I could not get over the constant riffing towards each of their movies.

What Works:

  • This is the End delivers constant laughs, from the humor you should expect from Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg by now
  • A handful of other celebrity cameos towards the beginning  and throughout the film add to the fun
  • Lots of seemingly on-the-spot and unscripted scenes that prove the actors’ chemistry together
  • Tons of hilarious references to each actor’s previous films

What Doesn’t Work:

  • A story that sounds creative, but when you step back it’s actually pretty generic
  • Crappy CGI monsters and demons feel clunky and in the way
  • The script is pretty poor, but if you don’t mind that, you’ll find it funny
  • A lot of head-scratching moments

681537-this_is_the_end_james_franco_seth_rogen_jay_baruchel

Overall, the success here is pretty big.  This is the End was one of my favorite comedies of 2013, and hopefully Rogen & Goldberg deliver more hilarious originals in the future.  I mean, at this point how could you not enjoy the actors in the “Apatow Crew”?

Reel Rating: 7/10

Written by Josh Sazin on January 26th, 2014

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