This Is The End (2013) Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen. With Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride.
In his relatively short career thus far, Seth Rogen has already been associated with a range of comedies revolving around rather unconventional subjects; 50/50 – cancer, Knocked Up – unwanted pregnancy and now this, as both actor and co-director, a comedy about the end of days as described in The Bible’s book of Revelation.
Your pre-knowledge of, and more importantly, affection for this group of actors is likely to play a significant part in determining your response to the film. If you haven’t laughed or smiled after the first ten-minutes, then there’s every chance you’ll probably leave it wondering what all the fuss I’m about to make is about. I loved it.
Each actor in the film is playing an alternate reality version of his/herself, perhaps heightening and accentuating certain characteristics. Much of the comedy comes from inside jokes, with each player completely open to self-deprecation. The setting for the apocalypse is at a party at James Franco’s flashy Hollywood house, which is attended by all manner of famous faces you may recognise. I won’t spoil it by name-dropping here, as part of the fun and impact of the experience is making these mini discoveries for yourself, especially considering just how joyous some of them are.
Being a comedy, at 107-mins long, you might expect the pace to dip at some point, but much like Cabin in the Woods a few years ago, the film’s knowing sense of humour and sheer audaciousness is enough to see it over the line. I laughed a lot, and when I wasn’t laughing, I was smiling, a lot. The cast have a great time, but the best news is, they are more interested in us having that great time with them.
I can only surmise that not engaging with the film, is having the feeling of not being in on the joke. It is fair to say that much of the enjoyment does come from knowing a certain amount about these actors, and their on-screen persona’s. Who knew the end of the world could be this much fun. 4/5