nickonthisisPreviously:
The Impossible. John Dies at the End. Texas Chainsaw 3-D. Gangster Squad. Promised Land. Broken City. The Last Stand. Phantom. Oblivion. Pain and Gain. Epic. Fast and Furious. After Earth. Now You See Me.

this_is_the_end

The cool kids are in control.

This is the End is the cinematic equivalent of being a fly on the wall with a group of very specific talents at the peak of their powers. The results vary from astoundingly funny to quite messy but there’s no denying the fact that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s film is a unique animal and the kind of which few will hate, many will worship, and the rest will be scratching their heads at all the inside humor with big stars taking the piss on their image. It’s a crazy, vulgar oddity that breaks up the summer movie season perfectly with its complete lack of studio focus group bullshit.

The premise is simple: The apocalypse occurs at the very same time a monster party is going down at Hollywood superstar James Franco’s house. Hell breaks loose, literally. Trapped inside the quickly deteriorating domicile are bright young comedy stars like Rogen, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz, and Jonah Hill, and as it becomes apparent a life or death situation leads way to a wide array of opportunities for laughter. Complicating things is the central relationship between Rogen and Baruchel, the two Canadian fellows in the bunch whose initial quiet weekend gone awry serves as the initial conflict of the movie. Longtime friends, Baruchel resents his buddy’s tendency to ‘go Hollywood’ when they hang out and a lot of the the film’s early laughs play on the tension between Baruchel and Hill and especially Franco. James Franco’s a performer whose come under some ire lately due to his odd choices and omnipresence but seeing him play the stereotype to the hilt shows he not only is paying attention but also that he’s a step ahead.

As the conditions outside get worse the group becomes more and more manic and there are some terrific moments that evoke the group’s earlier work [the fantastic Pineapple Express should almost be billed above the title as a character] but also show that these people and this approach could be applied to a host of different genres.

Seeing these current performers at the top of their game obviously having a blast is contagious and the film is loaded with great little moments to the point where secondary punchlines are lost to be savored at a later viewing. Rogen and Goldberg aren’t about visual flourish as filmmakers and even though there are a surprising amount of special effects the effort is always on mining each scene for maximum comedic value. It often works thanks to the incredible chemistry of everyone involved. There’s a freeing energy for these performers to be letting their hair down and it’s difficult to deny the amount of goodwill generated from the work delivered by Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Craig Robinson, and Jonah Hill. Their unique styles meld together quite well and it showcases the gap between this brand of humor and the kind sadly being released around it. There’s an ownership here, a sense of actually putting something out that will endure.

Seeing this group of people fighting over food rations, confessing to a video diary, reacting to catastrophic events, and poking fun at their celebrity is worth the admission price alone. It’s a great opportunity for these actors to change the public perception of them. Cera in particular has a devilish amount of fun in his limited screen time but the larger result of This is the End is that Seth Rogen has put himself in a place to do his thing and do it well without having to rely on a lot of x-factors. It’s not the most polished film but it sings to its audience and there is no doubt that this will be a flick that becomes a staple in the rotation for decades to come.

How does it feel in relation to Edgar Wright’s upcoming movie?

It’s the flip side of it, apparently. This is the frat house side of the spectrum and the other is the more nuanced and cultured version it would appear. Neither is wrong because they both feel so right.

But what if I want to just see a demon’s cock?

Then you’re in luck.

Are there any moments that hurt the film?

Without spoiling things there’s a cute but pandering musical moment late in the film that feels more at home in a Todd Phillips movie than one from these guys. It’s cute but gimmicky.

How are Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg as filmmakers?

Fine. There’s not a lot of flash but the film serves its jokes and its cast perfectly. The effects sequences are handled fine and there’s nothing really to complain about. Wouldn’t recommend them for Fast 7 or Transformers 5 but nor would they themselves.

Will I get my Martin Starr fix?

No one has a Martin Starr fix.

Rating:
★★★½☆

Out of a Possible 5 Stars


Nick On… Is my new ongoing movie review column. The goal is to distill things a little and make it a little more playful and easier to digest rather than the long form. Hope you like. Please let me know what you think as there will be many of these coming and the goal always is to improve. Please share and whatnot.

- Nick (Twitter, Facebook)

Previously:
The Impossible. John Dies at the End. Texas Chainsaw 3-D. Gangster Squad. Promised Land. Broken City. The Last Stand. Phantom. Oblivion. Pain and Gain. Epic. Fast and Furious. After Earth. Now You See Me.

The End of the World (2013)

While attending a party at James Franco's house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.

Released
06.14.2013 (USA)
Directors
  • Evan Goldberg
  • Seth Rogen
Writers
  • Seth Rogen
  • Jason Stone
Actors
  • Emma Watson
  • James Franco
  • Jonah Hill
  • Paul Rudd
  • Jay Baruchel
Genres
  • Action
  • Comedy
Watch or buy now

The End of the World on IMDb