This is the End Review
Star-studded apocalyptic comedy
Man of Steel will undoubtedly run the box office for at least the next couple of weeks. However, this doesn’t mean there isn’t a good comedy out there to balance the intense, action-packed superhero movie, as well. Enter This is the End, the major motion picture version of the short film Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalpyse. While MoS targets just about every single crucial ticket-buying demographic, This is the End targets a rather specific demographic: 17-24-year-old pop culture enthusiasts. And on that note of demographic alone, the film delivers.
The obvious draw and appeal of the film is its cast. Each actor presumably plays him- or herself, although playing a made-up version of themselves is perhaps more accurate. The plot is simple enough. Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) flies out to L.A. for some quality time with best friend and fellow Canadian, Seth Rogen (The Green Hornet, The Guilt Trip). After relaxing and general nonsense over the course of a few hours, Rogen announces that they should pop in at Academy Award-nominee James Franco’s (127 Hours, the Spider-Man trilogy) housewarming party. Other self-depreciating performers include: Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, “The Office”), Academy-Award nominee Jonah Hill (Moneyball, The Sitter), Danny McBride (“Eastbound and Down,” Your Highness), Emma Watson (the Harry Potter franchise, The Perks of Being a Wallflower), Michael Cera (Superbad, “Arrested Development”), Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project,” “The Office”), Aziz Ansari (“Parks and Recreation,” 30 Minutes or Less) and several other familiar faces.
While deep in the throes of the party, incredible and apocalyptic acts begin, causing many to get sucked into the pits of the world, get beamed up to Heaven or fend for themselves on Earth. Early on, Jay Baruchel shares his suspicions that the Biblical apocalypse from the book of Revelation is what has occurred. A small, remaining group takes up fortress in what remains of James Franco’s new house. Along the way, our inadequate celebrities are left to struggle with rationing food, rape allegations, sinister, horned, demon creatures and Danny McBride. Will they crack the case of what exactly is going on around them?
Although the film runs on a bit too long due some unnecessary scenes in the second act, the sheer display of legitimate movie stars playing one and two-note versions of themselves beckons the purchase of a ticket. These performers are to be commended for the ability to laugh at their public perception yet somehow show a note of honesty, as well. Seth Rogen co-directed, co-wrote, produced and acted in the film, showing that he’s a lot more talented than to just be limited to telling scripted jokes in front of a camera.