Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review: This Is the End

Copyright: Columbia Pictures
End times meet imaginary Seth Rogan and his friends is one way to sum up the whole plot of this great comedy. As apocalypse sets on Los Angeles, a party at James Franco’s new house gets interrupted – most people flee, but Franco decides to stay and begs Rogan,who came with his Canadian buddy Jay Baruchel, to do the same. Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson are also there, and so is Danny McBride, who drunkenly sleeps through the initial fires and carnage. 

This Is the End play in the same league as the best films Rogan and Company worked on – it is stupid, original and refreshingly inoffensive, as the main topic covers the world of incredibly wealthy actors. Phony friendships, giant egos and widespread user mentality are just some of the hallmarks of their existence. Hardships of their new found survival isn’t easy on them, to say the least. In their circle, only Baruchel seems like he’s trying to act as a human being. The other range from pure evil or concealed malice to confused selfishness, and most of the action takes place between their conflicted perspectives on what to do next, although dilemmas include finding water and similar mundane problems, elevated by the apocalypse to a greater level. 

In the cast, Craig Robinson shines the most, as he did in the Hot Tub Time Machine, while Hill had the most demanding role of the bunch, and did a decent job. McBride is extraordinary entertaining, in spite of the fact he did pretty much the same character he plays as Kenny Powers from Eastbound & Down, amped up by a notch or two. 

As a comedy, the movie delivers as good as its actors do – most of the humor is trademark Rogen and Goldberg – jabs at popular culture combined with toilet humor. One of the biggest and most unexpected parts is a movie inside of a movie, which is made by the group when they decide to film a sweded sequel to Pineapple Express

This, as well as the last 20 minutes of the film do a great job in breaking the monotony of the primary setup, in which 5 guys crack jokes in a wrecked house. This was a really smart move, and one that shows that Rogen definitely has a place behind the camera.

What amazes me about this movie the most is the way it portrays a regular story about a friendship that slowly disintegrated in spite the fact that both parties didn’t ask for it, followed by the process of unexpected and painful discovery that it’s still there. Like the way Knocked Up examined parenthood and commitments, This Is the End explores the bonds that tie childhood friends forever, even when they seem to hate each other and the end is nigh. This, and filming yourself when you for the first time try to drink your own urine.

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