This Is the End
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Writer: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Based on: the short film “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse”
Cast: 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, Brandon Trost, Jason Trost
Jay Baruchel comes to LA to visit Seth Rogen. He had planned to have a weekend full of movies, video games and weed at Seth’s place, but Seth gets him to go to James Franco’s housewarming party. While they’re there, the apocalypse happens – literally. None of them ascends into heaven, but at least Jay, Seth, James, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride also don’t fall into the hell pit that opened just outside the door. But what should they do now?
I was afraid that I wouldn’t like This Is the End and I was right. Apart from a few moments of actual fun, there was nothing that I could enjoy about it.
Okay, you might have noticed that I have a soft spot for James Franco. I admit it. And I really liked how he made fun of himself in this film. But that is certainly not enough to push me through an entire film like This Is the End that pretty much consists entirely of stoner humor and dick jokes, with a bit of edginess-that-is-actually-offensive. That just really isn’t my thing.
What also isn’t my thing is the way the dialogues always felt improvised. (I don’t know if they actually were.) Improvisation can be great but only if people know what they’re doing and when it’s properly edited afterwards. If that isn’t the cast, it becomes rambling, mostly. The actors start repeating phrases you know where part of their prompt and they don’t know when to stop and obviously the director didn’t tell them either. And that’s the feeling I got here. (Maybe the script was written that way. I don’t know.)
As I said, I suspected that I would feel this way about the film [especially after Your Highness – which was a pretty bad idea in general as they admitted themselves in this film] but I was drawn in by the cameos nevertheless. Unfortunately, about 90% of them happen in the first 15 minutes and then the film gets pretty excruciating and just plain boring.
There was a film to be made from the concept (with a little more stability and maturity we might have gotten that). But it shouldn’t have been this one.
Summarizing: If you like Seth Rogen/Judd Apatow films, you’ll probably like this one as well.