A party at James Franco’s house with Seth Rogen, Emma Watson, Jason Segal, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and more in attendance. Sounds like an awesome time right? Well, it was – until the apocalypse happened. Check out my review of the raucous R-rated comedy, This is the End after the jump.
Jay Baruchel has come to Los Angels to visit with old friend Seth Rogen. The two are having a great time getting high, playing games and generally just goofing around. Jay is really enjoying himself until Seth suggests they go to a housewarming party at James Franco’s house. Jay doesn’t like James or any of Seth’s LA-based friends, but as Seth is adamant on attending, Jay follows along. Jay immediately feels like an outcast at the party where celebrities like Rihanna, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are partying hard and getting wild. The party is in full swing until the unthinkable happens. At first it seems like a massive earthquake – the ground rumbles, cracks open up and fires break out all over Hollywood. However it soon becomes obvious that something all-together more frightening is happening. Strange shapes lurk, the destruction escalates, people are beamed up into the sky and celebrities start dropping like flies. Is it really the end?
This is the End could have easily been another crass, same-same, dick joke-packed comedy. While the dick jokes are certainly there, the humour and ridiculousness of the situation elevates this comedy to something worthwhile seeing. Perhaps it’s the fact that the stars are playing fictionalised versions of themselves and poke fun at each other throughout? There is something oddly refreshing about the self-deprecating humour. After all, it’s not every day you see James Franco’s art ridiculed, Michael Cera as a coke-head, or Emma Watson going crazy with an axe. The actors’ willingness to have fun invites the audience to do the same, and as a result it’s a heck of a great time. 2013 seems to be the year of James Franco – the prolific actor impresses again in this film with his energetic and downright hilarious performance. I also enjoyed seeing Emma Watson playing a [never before seen] feisty version of herself.
The apocalyptic setting is perfect for the outrageous parody comedy as it allows the characters to get caught up in the most absurd situations. There are some great action set-pieces, which are paired very aptly with pounding electronic music. For the most part the film moves along at a good pace, however things become slightly stagnant in the latter stages as their confinement to the house drags on. A trim of the 107 minute run-time would have served to make the frenetic final act all the more enjoyable. I also think a few of the jokes went past the ‘crass’ line, and clearly into offensive territory. This type of comedy always pushes the boundaries of taste, and for the most part This is the End succeeds in being funny rather than distasteful.
See it with a crowd and laugh until your stomach hurts. This is the End is the one of the funniest comedies of the year.
By Sam McCosh
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Writer(s): Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson
Runtime: 107 minutes
Release date(s): USA: June 12 2013; New Zealand: June 20 2013; Australia: July 18 2013