Arriving at the airport, Seth Rogen meets up with Jay Baruchel, who has arrived in LA for a weekend to hang out and catch up. After a day of chilling out at Seth’s house, he tells Jay that there is a party at James Franco’s new place and convinces Jay to go with him, reluctantly. They get to James’s place and the party is full of the Hollywood crowd. Getting a little claustrophobic at the party, Jay convinces Seth to take a walk for cigarettes, but their trip is cut short when blue lights shoot down from the sky and chaos erupts on the streets. When they get back to the house, an earthquake rocks the Hollywood Hills and a sinkhole opens up on the front lawn, taking many of the party guests into the fire. After barricading themselves in James’s house, the lone survivors of the party include Seth, Jay, James, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride.
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, Martin Starr, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Jason Segel, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, AJ McLean, Kevin Scott Richardson
Actors can have a difficult time playing certain characters but it can be more difficult at times to play themselves on the big screen. The most surprising of all of the performances was the crazed Michael Cera, who went the complete opposite of his regular personality and instead was a coked-up sexual addict. The rest of the group was a bit closer to themselves. Baruchel may have been the most difficult to watch because of how whiney he was, though his personality matched the flow of the story. Jonah Hill’s overly nice persona was a good balance with Baruchel’s whininess and McBride’s boisterousness.
Taking to the role of both director and lead, Seth Rogen used the apocalypse as a vehicle to play out the hilarious comedians under one roof for close to two hours of entertainment. The first section of the movie was devoted to just poking fun at the various celebrity guests. Michael Cera and Rihanna certainly took attention away from the rest of the group, but there are a number of great mini moments with Jason Segel, Kevin Hart and Mindy Kaling. Once the chaos started, the tone of the film changed but the humor remained. The sinkhole allowed for a great collection of moments of demise for many of the attendees of the party.
Once the film moved to the aftermath and the continued chaos, the gang struggled to find their footing in the unknown. Jonah ran around with his pleasantness and forgiving nature, while Jay sulked over his situation and Danny did everything he could to ruin their survival. While the story mostly focused on the damaged friendship between Seth and Jay, the world deteriorating around James’s house allowed for all of these characters to get their share of the screen time. In the notes about the film, there seemed to be a number of scenes that the actors started to have trouble with following through because they were getting asked to do and say things that were no longer comfortable for them. The end result was still something that allowed this film to rise to the top of the list of best comedies of the year so far.
This is the End is a film that can be a little graphic at times and may have a lot of colorful language, but the story and dialogue are so compelling that any shortcomings are easy to look beyond.
Dan’s Rating: 4.0/5