Monday, June 17, 2013

Review 172: "This Is the End"

"Seth, that's a better performance than you've given in your last six movies. 
Where the f*ck was that in Green Hornet, huh?!"

Written By, Directed By and Starring

      I was a little bit wary of This Is the End when I first heard about it. Having actors play themselves is an easy way to put some "creativity" into you movie without really trying. If done right, it can be great. But if done wrong, it can just become silly and pointless. And while the apocalypses setting does seem ripe for a comedy, could the movie really get that far on having actors playing themselves in an apocalypse? Well, as it turns out, they can get very far. Written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the film follows, uhhh, Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel as they travel to James Franco's house for a party with other celebrities. The party is cut short however, after the apocalypse begins. As other celebrities die, Seth, Jay and Franco find themselves trapped in Franco's house along with Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride. As they have run-ins with other celebrities, including Emma Watson and Michael Cera, they guys struggle to survive the apocalypses... and each other. How wacky. 

They're watching The Sitter.
Celebrities Are People Too

      Thankfully, This Is the End really knows how to make the "actors-playing-themselves" gimmick work. The movie actually makes good use out of the premise, amounting to one of the more ambitious comedies to be released in a while. I honestly loved this movie. The actors good all in when playing themselves. The exaggerated versions are hilarious and it's impressive and fun to have the actors joking around with themselves. This Is the End is already a strong contender for the funniest movie of 2013. The film is funny enough watching the characters struggle with everything around them, in what will promise to be some of the nest most quotable scenes in a comedy. But as a film fan, there are plently of other, smaller and funnier jokes hidden in the film, from Franco's relationship with Rogen to jokes about the actors various bad films. The film also includes a predictable, but still hilarious cameo at the end that had me falling out of my seat, which was topped only minutes later in the film's final scenes with an even greater, and unexpected cameo.

The Uneven End

      The other really great thing about This Is the End is the actually apocalypse itself. The filmmakers could have gone with a generic apocalypse in order to have just a backdrop for the film, but the movie actually sets up a really different and hilarious apocalypse. I won't spoil it, but it adds to the fun of the film and actually creates some suspense toward the end. The film, however, is not without it's flaws. This is Rogen and Goldberg's first time directing and it does kinda show. The film seems to foreshadow some events that never actually happen, some scenes aren't particularly funny or move the plot forward, making them pointless. There are just some noticeable parts of the movie that could have used some polishing and the film itself maybe could have gone through one last re-write. But, as it stands, they are small errors in an otherwise great film.

Best apocalypse ever!
The Verdict

      This Is the End hopefully won't be my favorite film of the year, mostly because that means it's all downhill from here. The film, though, is my favorite one I've seen so far this year. It's absolutely hilarious, with some of the actor's best performances in a while and a great movie apocalypse. Sure, there are a few unpolished parts here and there, but they mostly are just nitpicks. This Is the End might very well turn out the be the funniest movie of 2013. This Is the End gets 6 stars out of 6.

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