Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
This movie here, 'This is the End', is testament to the raw Hollywood power of one Seth Rogen.  I imagine my man sitting around with his boy Evan Goldberg… both stoned no doubt… and saying 'Let's make a movie!'  And then calling up their friends, deciding not to play actual characters but amped up versions of themselves, with the only thing missing being a script.  And while there was a script for 'The is the End', at least in the sense that the characters were speaking words and the movie did have a beginning, middle and end, I'm thinking it served mostly as a guide for these actors to freely express profanities, vulgarities, and lob offensive softballs at one another.  And this cat got this movie made and released.  Did this work?  Like a charm.

James Franco (as played by James Franco) is having a house warming party.  He's invited his good friend Seth Rogen (Rogen) who happens to be hosting his fellow Canadian, Los Angeles hating homeboy Jay Baruchel (Jay Baruchel).  Jay hates L.A., he hates the people in L.A., and he hates the people who are going to be at his party at Franco's, but Seth is his boy so he goes along. 

What a party it is.  How can a brother get on an invite list and slip into one of these vacuous, pointless, sinful Hollywood parties?  And just so you know, while this movie is pretty funny for the most part, thirty years from now the main thing people will remember from this movie is coked out Michael Cera from 'This is the End'.  Anyway, Jay doesn't like the party because, well, Jay is sort of a jerk.  He's mean to Jonah (Jonah Hill), he disrespects Craig (Craig Robinson) and Emma (Emma Watson) by disrespecting 'Forest Gump', and he's just a general all-around stick in the mud. 
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Then, with Jay and Seth were at a quickie-mart, the apocalypse begins.  People are sucked in the sky by pretty blue lights, the earth opens up, the mountains catch fire and back at Franco's crib, people of varying star-power are sucked into a fiery pit.  Kevin Hart kicking Aziz Ansari in the face… comedy gold right there.  And we like Aziz.

Ultimately, with most of the people at Franco's party now dead, Jay, Seth, Franco, Craig and Jonah have boarded themselves in Franco's house trying to figure out what to do next.  Also at the party, though he didn't get an invite, is Danny McBride (Danny McBride), and apparently there was a reason James didn't invite this guy.  Regardless, Jay is trying to tell these people that it's the end of days and judgment is upon them, but they're not believers.  Not yet.  Until then, they might as well keep themselves occupied with stuff, like say make a sequel to 'Pineapple Express' with Franco's camcorder from '127 Hours'. 

Eventually Jay's theory is brought to bear, the blue light people were the just and righteous, taken in The Rapture, and now our actors are sad that they were Left Behind.  And all heck has broken out in the house.  Largely due to the existence of Danny McBride.  But if you've read revelations… and mind you I think writers Rogen and Goldberg read just enough to get by for their story… but if you've read it, you know that we will have a second chance to ascend when the end of days comes.  Can our actors redeem themselves and ascend to Heaven?  Note that if the Christian canon is important to you to the point you can't laugh at it just a little bit… by all means… watch another movie.

As you might imagine, 'This is the End' is completely tasteless.  There are no restrictions, nothing is off limits, it is clear no one associated with this film has any idea of what the word 'maturity' means, and this is a movie that would literally sell its soul to the devil himself, if this movie had a soul, to get a laugh.  Channing Tatum shows up in this movie.  A friend of mine has a very unhealthy dislike of Mr. Tatum.  Until he saw him in this movie, and now he's his favorite actor.  It was better for Channing Tatum when my good friend didn't like him.  I could only imagine what Channing Tatum could've done to make this friend do such a 180 on his opinion of Channing.  My imagination wasn't great enough.  I was somewhat surprised that I saw more CGI giant penises in this movie than authentic breasts in this film… but then this is a sophomoric bromance comedy made by sophomoric boys, so I guess I really shouldn't be surprised by this.

As with most machine gun style comedies such as this, where the jokes come fast and furious, not every gag is going to hit its funnybone target, and I do believe that one's ultimate enjoyment of this film will be variably aligned to one's fandom of the actors in this movie.  If you happen to be a big Seth Rogen fan… chances are this could very well be the best movie you've ever seen.  If you sit around asking yourself 'how in the hell did Seth Rogen become a movie star?' you're enjoyment will undoubtedly be considerably less.  A coked out Michael Cera?  Funny whether you are a fan or not.

Personally, I thought 'This was the End' was funny.  Painfully so at times, rarer times just plain painful.  And sure, I'm in the camp that would rather see real breast than giant CGI penises, but that's just a personal preference. 
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