I return back to my regular reviewing schedule and I return to it with one of the most irregular movies I have seen in recent years. Based off the short film Jay and Seth versus the Apocalypse, This is the End is one of the most surprisingly bizarrely amazing movies that I have ever seen. I do not know how else to put it. It is a movie about a group comprised of Seth Rogan, Jay Baruchal, and several A-List actors portraying themselves as they meet face to face with the actual Biblical Apocalypse. How else can I describe this movie other than ‘surprisingly bizarrely amazing’?
The story revolves around Jay Baruchal, who returns to Los Angelse for a short trip to visit his old friend Seth Rogan. While visiting, the two take part in several recreational activities such as smoking marijuana, playing video games, and listening to the Backstreet Boys. After their ‘fun old times’ Seth insists that Jay come with him to a Hollywood party thrown by James Franco. Though hesitant, not really seeing himself as apart of the ‘Hollywood Crowd’ Jay is eventually persuaded by Seth to join him. The two go to the party which features other A-List Celebrities such as Emma Watson, Craig Robinson, Rihanna, Aziz Ansari, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, and of course James Franco.
Feeling ostracized, Jay accompanied by Seth goes to a convenient store for some snacks when all hell literally breaks loose. After a bright blue beam of light brings several people into the sky the rest of the world is then plunged into hellfire as the ground opens up and demons begin to infest the Los Angeles streets. After the initial carnage only Seth, Jay, Jonah, Craig, and James remain to face the horrors of the apocalypse.
The Fact that the Actors are Playing Fictional Versions of Themselves
If these people were playing fictionalized characters with their own back stories and NOT playing fictionalized versions of themselves, this movie would have been pretty unforgettable. Not terrible mind you, but definitely not great. Since they are playing themselves it adds not only a level of realness, but also adds a heaping helping of self-deprecation that provides some pretty great comedy.
You get the feeling that you are stepping into the day to day life of Jay Baruchal and Seth Rogan, two actors that everyone can relate to. By saying that this is happening to Rogan and Baruchal instead of characters they are playing helps to remove the veil of fiction. You get the sense that this apocalypse is actually happening, that it could happen and this is what it would be like to be one of these famous comedians. Just regular people trying to survive the literal apocalypse.
You begin to think… Well what if this does happen? Will I be raptured or will I be left on the Earth to burn and die? Making them play fictionalized characters of themselves is simply brilliant!
The Film is Surprisingly Suspenseful
I was not expecting to be on the edge of my seat when I first stepped into This is the End. I was expecting comedy, yes. But I was not expecting the same level of intensity that a horror/thriller brings to the table. There are several scenes of great suspense as you watch Craig go to the basement in search of water and again when Jay and Craig go across the street to get canned food and stuff from James’ neighbors house. The demons are genuinely terrifying and some CGI monsters that I can really get behind.
They do add some comedy in there. When the literal devil himself shows up, he is sporting a gigantic penis for the sake of the Devil’s Dick being an actual thing. I was expecting most of the monsters to be like this. Sporting goofy and laughable appendages like that. But no… These demons were more terrifying than most of the demons I’ve seen in movies that were trying to take them seriously! It is simply amazing work!
It is Simply Hilarious
What better compliment can you give to a comedy movie then simply by saying that it is funny? I was laughing every second. The chemistry between all of the comedians involved in this film is amazing. The mere concept of the Biblical Apocalypse is a pretty rough sale to make funny. But the combination of writing from Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan and the performances from the actors and actresses makes this film amazing and hilarious.
A Few Jokes Fall Flat
The only nitpick I can give this movie and that it is a nitpick is that there are a few jokes that fall flat. Probably the ones that stick out the most are the damn penis jokes. I’m not sure what it is about these guys fascination with dicks or chopping off dicks to add to that (which I can even say is some excellent forshadowing!) But those and a few other jokes did fall a little flat for me. But that is pretty much all I can say that is negative about the film.
I loved this movie. I loved every second of it. The jokes, the acting, the self-deprecation, the stab at Hollywood, and just about every point in between. When I first saw the trailers for the movie, I had no interest in seeing it, just thinking it would be another random summer comedy. But I was wrong. This film is hilarious! I recommend to see it as soon as you can!
Final Score 4.5/5
Well shit. I was planning a new NTOE but that sadly did not happen… SO! I pushed this one forward. It will be coming soon I promise. Luckily I had this waiting in the wings. Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review than please like and subscribe for more from me.