When I first saw the trailer for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s new film, This is the End, I assumed it would be of similar taste to their other projects, which include Pineapple Express and Superbad. And it is. From start to finish, the film is filled with weed, awkward bromantic situations, nonchalant swearing, and masturbation jokes. However, unlike their other films, This is the End made me laugh. It is well written and paced, with a fantastic cast, an interesting and unpredictable plot, and outrageous hilarity which will have you spluttering popcorn everywhere.
The movie stars Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson, all of whom play fictional versions of themselves (which coincidentally seem similar to their typical movie roles). Jay arrives in Los Angeles to visit his old friend Seth, who takes him to a house-warming party at James Franco’s. This is an awkward experience for Jay, as he does not feel comfortable around Seth’s new friends. This results in the two popping down to the shops to momentarily escape the party, during which they witness blue beams sucking people into the sky, followed by earthquakes and havoc. They return to Franco’s undisturbed party, and shortly after, a sink hole opens up, killing various celebrity actors such as Aziz Ansari, Rihanna, Michael Cera and Jason Segel. This results in the six surviving celebs taking shelter in Franco’s boarded-up house, where they try to survive, try to figure out what is going on, and try not to kill each other. Other hilarities ensure, including a surprise visit from an axe-wielding Emma Watson, and a home-made version of Pineapple Express 2.
In proper black-comedy style, the gore in this film is exaggeratedly unpleasant. Blood pours with the consistency of water, and limbs rip off as if they were only being connected by thread. The other special effects are of the same standard. Some demons look like video-game knock-offs of the Balrog from The Lord of the Rings, while others bring back memories of certain creatures in Ghostbusters. This seems fitting, however, seeing how many previous movie references are in this film. At one point, James Franco brings out his camcorder from 127 hours, which he uses to set up a Big Brother-style diary room. Little references like this are scattered throughout the film, and add to the enjoyability of seeing these actors playing ‘themselves’.
Seeing as the actors were all playing themselves, I am unable to comment on their acting abilities. However, Craig Robinson was particularly funny to watch, with his trade-mark high-pitched squeals and tendency to overreact. James Franco was also very convincing in portraying his over-the-top adoration of Seth Rogen. But the best-friend, bromantic relationship between Seth and Jay was the most believable thing in the film. The two complement each other well, and allow the grand, cheesy climax of the film to flourish.
Although this film was enjoyable, I think it is something that men will appreciate more than women. There were some parts of the film that I did not think were funny, yet the various men in the audience were laughing throughout. The humour of the masturbation jokes and the CGI penises were beyond my understanding. Any girls who go to see this film will definitely need an open mind.
Despite this, the majority of the movie will be funny for both sexes. I must applaud Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg for their bravery in combining religious themes with inappropriate humour. However, next time they include a CGI Satan, I don’t think they need to make him quite that graphic…
This is the End (2013), directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, is released in the UK by Columbia Pictures, certificate 15. Watch the trailer below: