Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This is the End (Movie Review)

Seth Rogan and friends play themselves as the apocalypse happens around them. Here's the best thing, worst thing, and main thing about "This is the end".



If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you crossed Superbad with Left Behind, have I got a movie for you.
“This is the End” is an apocalyptic comedy starring Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, and many of their friends dealing with what appears to be the rapture and the ongoing end of the world. The main twist here is that each of them is apparently playing themselves, or at least a somewhat fictionalized version of themselves, a conceit that actually works really well to ground the movie’s main point about self centeredness and delusion and the power of true self sacrifice. The movie follows our group of friends after all the “good” people are raptured and they try to figure out why they weren't and how to escape the demons and depravity of the burning Hollywood Hills.
Though I’m tempted to say the humor is the best thing about “This is the End” because in a year full of unfunny comedies much of it was genuinely hilarious, I’m actually going to have to point to Jay Baruchel as the highlight. Baruchel is arguably the least known of the lead group of the self portrayed bunch (if you know him it’s from Disney’s live action Sorcerer's apprentice or maybe the voice of Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon.) but right from the start his demeanor and relationship with Seth Rogen add an interesting credibility to what’s going on in the film. Interesting because the movie is obviously over the top satire, but he makes it feel so real. His performance gives the message of the satire just the stickiness it needs to land and stay with you after all the cringe humor and demon genitalia jokes have faded away. Speaking of which.
The worst thing about the movie? It’s just too crude. Now, generally I wouldn't make a point of this in a movie done by the same guys who brought you Superbad and Pineapple Express. You kinda know what you are getting into when you see that Seth Rogen wrote a movie (by the way, He also directed this one with his writing partner Evan Goldberg, and acquitted himself quite nicely especially for a debut). But there is something about the setting of the depravity of the end of days that gave Rogen and Goldberg free reign to get as graphic and over the top as they saw fit. For the most part, an audience will forgive this for humor’s sake, but these moments of the film seemed the most unfunny and distracting parts of the story as a whole.
The main thing about This is the End? It’s a genuinely funny satire with a surprising amount of heart and a clever premise that’s occasionally castrated by the need to wallow in it’s depravity. I give it a solid B-

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