6 friends. One house. A party. A milky way. Apocalypse.
Films about the end of the world are extremely popular in Hollywood lately - we either get big blockbuster movies, comedies or horror films about the subject. Some of those are really good like last year's Cabin in the Woods. And now we have new addition to the list of good end of the world movies - This is the End - hugely entertaining, hilarious comedy that I'm definitely going to rewatch many times.
Jay Baruchel comes to LA to party with his good friend Seth Rogen. Rogen suggests they go to James Franco's house for a party that is happening there. When they arrive they are greeted by Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and many other celebrities attending the party. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a huge hole appears in Franco's front yard and consumes most of his celebrity guests leaving Franco, Rogen, Robinson, Baruchel and Hill in the house.
One of the things that is making the movie so funny is that these actors are playing themselves. They all appeared in recent popular comedies and apparently they are good friends in real life - the chemistry between them is excellent and you really get a feeling you are watching a bunch of friends partying and then trying to survive.
If they played some invented characters it would still be fun, but the
fact we are watching these actors essentially being themselves, having
seen them in so many of their movies, only makes the film more
entertaining. I mean come on - Michael Cera playing some character that is doing shit he does in this
movie would still be funny, but given that it is Cera who you imagine is
really shy and sweet in real life, this joke goes from funny to laugh-out-loud
It's also really awesome that these guys can laugh at themselves and each other - many of the popular complaints about these actors are featured in the movie. Seth Rogen co-wrote and co-directed the film yet there are many scenes with people saying he is a bad actor and he keeps doing the same things in his movies. And there are many jokes regarding Franco's pretentiousness, all of them spot-on and very funny.
Though the film is a straight-up comedy and it features a
lot of dick, urine and "rapey vibe" jokes, there are actually really clever bits
thrown in - each of the guys represents one of the deadly sins, so it's
not like the movie was completely lazy and they just threw random stuff
in. There are many fun references too - not only to the movies these
guys appeared in but also to the films like Armageddon, Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist.
After sleeping off the party the gang awakes and they discover
scene-stealing Danny McBide eating all of their food and acting like a
dick. The animosity between Franco and McBride was freaking hilarious
and it led to the movie's best scene - the argument between them about
the porno magazine and McBride having jizzed on it. This is really far from sophisticated humour, but who cares. This whole scene was so funny I couldn't stop laughing for several minutes after it happened.
Some of the movie's best lines come from this hatred they have for each other and it was just hilarious. I haven't seen McBride
in lots of movies but he was so funny here and he almost stole the
show, but nobody really managed to do that because everyone was really great. Baruchel has the worst job as he has to play the decent person in all of this and Rogen visibly has trouble not to laugh many times during his scenes, but other than that I really can't complain about their acting.
I'm usually annoyed by James Franco but he was really hysterical in this. He was so good playing more insane (or completely accurate?) version of himself - he didn't hit one false note through this whole movie. I love Craig Robinson - the guy is hilarious even if he has a little screen time like in Zack and Miri make a Porno and Pineapple Express and for me he was always one of the funniest parts of The Office. He is super funny here and his scream is hilarious.
I adore Jonah Hill. Even if his movies are occasionally terrible,
this guy always makes me laugh. Not just in his films - whenever I catch interviews with him in talk shows, I'm laughing like crazy. Hill
is so funny here and he has some of the best lines in the movie. The
fact he is an Academy Award nominated actor also gets some time devoted
to it - "Hello, God. It's me. Jonah Hill. From Moneyball". Also it's simply priceless that in This is the End you get to see one Academy Award nominated actor chewing up milky way and spitting it into the mouth of another Academy Award nominated actor. You know, baby-bird style.
The actors who appear briefly are all doing great job too - Emma Watson is really fun to watch as she robs the guys and keeps dropping the F bomb. Paul Rudd and Jason Segel have hilarious short cameos. You get to see Rhianna fall into gigantic fire pit. Then there is this one cameo, I won't reveal, with someone hiding beneath a leather mask - once that person is unmasked you will laugh like crazy.
The cameos are so fun to spot that it is actually one of the many reasons to go back to this movie. Rogen
said there is one split-second long cameo that nobody was able to spot
yet. Some people who watched the movie said they saw Nicolas Cage,
others say they spotted Miley Cyrus. I still have no idea who the secret cameo was so if you do, please let me know!
Aforementioned Cera is just hilarious, even though he is only in beginning of the movie. Rogen stated that he was sure Cera will have some issues with what was expected of him, but he was shocked when Cera just went along with everything. Then we have McLovin, who makes a short but memorable appearance. And then there is the ending which is just filled with many surprises. It's a shame Russell Brand didn't make an appearance, though. The closer to the ending the more CGI we see and I have to say for the comedy movie it was really well made. Definitely less annoying than CGI in Man of Steel, that's for sure.
The rapport between these guys is so awesome it really makes this movie into something special. I really don't mind this new trend in comedy filled with weed, dick jokes and drugs because these guys make it funny. You can really see that they had fun making that movie - I love the story Jonah Hill shared on Conan recently - that in one particularly memorable scene he got really uncomfortable and he said to Rogen he won't do it unless it's Rogen in the costume, since he really trusts him. This is what friendship is. Trusting your friends enough to shot a freaking Rosemary's Baby rapey vibe scene.
While This is the End didn't make me laugh as hard as Superbad and Forgetting Sarah Marshall did, it definitely was the funniest movie I've seen in a long time. And if Seth Rogen's line "Of course I'm smoking weed and drinking, I'm on a cleanse, I'm not psychotic!" won't become my favorite line of the year, I'll be shocked.
This is the End (2013, 107 min)
Plot: While attending a party at James Franco's house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.
Directors: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Writers: Seth Rogen (screenplay), Evan Goldberg (screenplay), Jason Stone (based on the short film "Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse")
Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen