This kind of reminds me of Couples Retreat in the way that it feels like a bunch of actor/filmmaker friends got together and said “Let’s make a movie”. Now, in the case of Couples Retreat, I think it was more like “It would be fun to go to Fiji. Let’s make a movie there so it becomes a business expense” In This Is The End, I somehow don’t think the Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg said “It would be fun to go to Louisiana. Let’s make a movie there so it becomes a business expense, but we’ll use visual effects to make it look like Hollywood” In fact, I THOUGHT it may have been, “James Franco just bought a new house, we can shoot a movie there.”
This Is The End is brought to you by the guys who brought you Superbad and Pineapple Express, both which had two things going for them. They are both pretty darn funny with layers of funny going on – from weed jokes, to dick jokes, to honestly poignant jokes. And then, with all of those jokes stripped out, there remains the structure of a good movie. I believe that’s what made them the successes that they are. This Is The End, still does retain those qualities to a degree, but it feels more like a bunch of scenes strung together with less coherence than the earlier films.
Its starts out with Seth Rogan picking up Jay Baruchel at the airport. No really. Seth Rogan and Jay Baruchel. They play themselves, and as a continual inside joke — everyone is playing themselves. Seth and Jay start out by getting really high, and then Seth let’s Jay know that they are going to a party at James Franco’s house — which represents everything that Jay abhors about the Los Angeles lifestyle, but he begrudgingly agrees. The party is a great scene of young celebrities poking fun at themselves and their images (while Jay rolls his eyes). Michael Cera is so not Michael Cera.
Jay gets Seth to go walking to a nearby convenience store to get some cigarettes, but really to get away from that scene. While they are in the store, blue beams shine down and start pulling people into the sky, while the rest of the city goes up in Hellish flames. They guys get back to the house where everyone is oblivious to the destruction, thinking that its just earthquakes. When everyone runs outside, a hole opens up, dropping them all into a fiery hell, leaving only Rogan, Franco, Burachel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and a late-coming Danny McBride, who wasn’t invited in the first place.
From here on out, its about six actors trying to survive a situation that they only have answers for either by acting in movies or watching movies. And really, the only salvation they have is to reflect on how they really haven’t been very good people.
Out of everyone, I feel that Craig Robinson stole the show. And I would have never guessed that an Emma Watson brandishing an axe would be as sexy as it is.
The humor is somewhat hit and miss — but fortunately more hit. Some jokes feel forced and taken too far. But for those who liked Pineapple Express, I think this’ll be a good ride.
BTW. The End of This Is The End is utter nonsense. They could have lopped it off and not lost a single thing.