James Franco throws a party of biblical proportions in directors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen’s first venture into horror comedy. In true Goldberg/Rogen fashion, expect to see familiar faces from both Superbad and Pineapple Express, as well as many other celebrity appearances, in this apocalyptic cameo-fest that is hilarious from start to finish.
Forget high-school house parties and drug deal getaways, Goldberg and Rogen leave no expenses spared in This Is The End, a tale not restricted to our dimension. After arriving in Los Angeles to visit his good friend Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel is invited to a house party hosted by none other than James Franco, who has just moved into the neighbourhood. On arrival, the place is packed full of famous faces. In the same style as the sitcom Extras, the actors in this film are playing over-the-top caricatures of themselves, such as the overly-loving Jonah Hill, the foul-mouthed Emma Watson and, best of all, the coke-fiend Michael Cera who definitely deserves his own film.
Many of these faces are not around for long, however, as a giant sinkhole opens up outside Franco’s house, swallowing dozens of party guests. The film then takes a turn down the end-of-the-world route which would feel unimaginative and overdone if it was not for the opportunities for comedy that it creates. As with Goldberg and Rogen’s previous films, This Is The End features the same loose-scripted, improvised humour that manifests itself when you put people like James Franco, Danny McBride and Jonah Hill in the same room and, with judgement day happening right outside the door, that happens a lot.
The lack of creativity story-wise slightly lets it down, but that is easily excusable as the non-stop laughs more than make up for it. This Is The End may be the best comedy you see all year.
Evan Goldberg and his hilarious writing partner Seth Rogen, the comedy minds behind the excellent Pineapple Express and Superbad, leap on to the apocalyptic cinema bandwagon and ride it straight to hell with their devilishly funny directorial debut, This is the End.
A packed party at James Franco’s ultra-cool Los Angeles home is the setting, as the world begins to fall apart – dragging doomed celebrities into a fiery sinkhole. The special effects team demonstrate that the devil really is in the detail, with impressive CGI demons and realistic gore affording the film with some truly blockbuster moments.
This is the End’s main strength is undoubtedly the incredibly likeable cast. Rogen and Franco continue their endearing bromance last seen in Pineapple Express, with Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Jay Baruchel also portraying fictional, and quite often bizarre, versions of themselves. There are also plenty of great cameos; particularly from Channing Tatum and the typically innocent Michael Cera who, in this world, is actually an unruly cocaine addict. The film’s bright white climax also provides several surprises that make it very difficult to leave the cinema without an enormous smile across your face.
If you are easily offended, this is not the apocalypse film for you; with a large portion of This is the End’s more lowbrow moments coming from jokes involving the cast’s various bodily fluids. However, this is not to suggest it’s a film void of intelligent humour, as the highly improvised dialogue provides plenty of witty spontaneity.
If you can stomach the gross-out moments, This is the End is a brilliant horror comedy which, for fans of Goldberg and Rogen’s previous work, is completely unmissable.
by Tom Woodcock & Gary Woodcock