Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Michael Cera, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel
Weeks back I had the privilege to catch a screening of this new epic comedy. I’ll be honest with you, whatever perceptions or ideas of what I thought this movie would end up like were completely blown to smithereens once the movie began. This is the End has no intentions of playing by any rules or giving any shits what you think. Between the snazzy unpredictable script and the hilarious execution of the performers, This is the End may just be the funniest comedy in five-plus years. There is no way to properly prepare yourself for what Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have created here. Get ready to not be ready Renegades! The end has arrived!
So, before I begin attempting to explain this movie, let’s discuss the film’s scenario. Most people are not aware of this but the movie is based off a short film by the same team called Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse. The short film was presented as a trailer to see how the internet would react to the idea. I’ll admit the idea was pretty clever. Two slackers stuck a the end of the world in their own home, and they happen to be Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel? Yeah I’d watch it. Not too long after, Columbia Pictures green-lit the project and the result is far more insane than the original concept. Suddenly, every entertainer in the comedic profession signs up for the movie to play themselves in real life and the story idea is elevated to the thousandth power.
The film involves Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen, who are long time acting buddies in real life. In the movie. Jay jumps off a plane to visit Seth, which I think is California if I remember correctly. Jay is visiting Seth to just hang out with his best friend and maybe relax a bit. However, Seth has a great plan to take Jay out for a good time at James Franco’s house so he can meet a bunch of big names. The film sets up a clear struggle between their friendship, with Jay not enjoying the fact he’s growing apart from his friend due to Rogen’s rising fame. Jay just wants to hang out with his pal and not deal with all the superficiality of Hollywood.
Once they arrive to Franco’s house the comedic execution is turned up to the highest level possible. Every comedic performer turns into a heightened version of themselves, much in the same vein as Neil Patrick Harris in the Harold and Kumar movies. I wish I could speak about the personas these guys embody but the surprise is all part of the fun. Even some of the cameos in the movie are just downright out of control. Some of the performances these actors agreed to are just utterly shocking and pleasantly surprising. Like I said, I wish I could elaborate in detail but it would spoil the entire experience.
What makes This is the End such a great time though is the self-aware sense of humor these guys have about their careers. Even Seth Rogen, who has experienced punches for certain career decisions, makes it clear in the writing he is fully aware of those mistakes and is willing to laugh about them as well. The biggest highlight for me personally was Danny McBride in full blown a-hole mode. The show is pretty much stolen from everybody the minute McBride crashes the party. Also, a major shout out to my boy Michael Cera for delivering a comedic performance that would even make Charlie Sheen blush.
Which brings me to the most controversial element of this outrageous comedy. This is the End quite possibly has the most out-of-control finale in cinematic comedy history. Think of the most unpredictable ending to a comedy you have ever seen, multiply it by a hundred, and you still may have some ground to cover to reach the insanity level of this conclusion. I give the studio major credit for letting these guys have so much creative freedom because the last half hour is anything but safe.
This is the End may not end up as a huge hit due to the large shadow being casted by the Man of Steel, but I guarantee people will be talking about this one all Summer long. There are just too many epic surprises in store for viewers who will actually decide to see it. I watched it three weeks ago and I still can’t get some hilarious sequences out of my head. Bottom line, This is the End is the ballsiest comedy in years and I loved every twisted minute of it.