Thursday, June 13, 2013

Movie Review: This Is the End

***** out of 5
107 minutes
Rated R for crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence
Columbia Pictures

Article first published as Movie Review: This Is the End on Blogcritics.

Just when people were starting to think that the house Judd Apatow built ( TV’s Freaks & Geeks and Undeclared and the big screen’s Anchorman, 40-Year-Old Virgin, Superbad, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, etc.) had run out of steam comes one of the group’s funniest films. However, Apatow himself had nothing to do with this one. Transitioning from writers to directors, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have successfully made their way behind the camera. And with This is the End clocking in at only 107 minutes, they’ve learned a thing or two in the process. Don’t overstay your welcome and keep the jokes flying at a relentless pace.

The film opens with Jay Baruchel newly arrived in Los Angeles and picked up at the airport by Seth Rogen. After a quick stop at Carl’s Jr. they head to Seth’s house for some R&R. Now that they’ve relaxed over some 3DTV and pot, the two head off to a party at James Franco’s house. Jay faces anxiety as he’s the last thread of Canada Seth has and Jay doesn’t fit in with Seth’s L.A. cohorts, especially Jonah Hill who Seth claims to be every bit of nice that Jay thinks Jonah is faking.

During the party — which includes as many of their friends as possible: Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Martin Starr, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Rihanna, and a coked-up Michael Cera — Jay and Seth hit a convenience store to satisfy their munchies but not before some sort of earthquake rocks L.A. and beams of light start sucking people into the heavens. They return to Franco’s house, as a sinkhole wipes out all of the party’s guests — aside from Jay, Seth, Franco, Jonah, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride — they must join forces to face the apocalypse together.

Apocalypse movies seem to be a dime a dozen lately, but it has never been funnier than this. Featuring a smattering of gore that would make the Final Destination films proud, and more laughs in one minute than the entirety of The Internship, Rogen and Goldberg have completely succeeded in stretching out Jason Stone’s short film Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse. With everyone essentially playing themselves it allows them all to poke fun of each other and themselves with glee. Keep your eyes peeled for some of the best cameos ever, including at least two that absolutely must not be spoiled. This is the End will wind up being one of the funniest films of the year, and if This is the End, I can’t think of a better way to go.

Photos courtesy Columbia Pictures

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