Friday 28 June 2013

This Is The End Review

Childhood friends and long time film collaborators Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen share directing and writing duties on This is the End. Straight from the stoner successful writer/director/producer world shared with Judd Apatow, This is theEnd uses a plethora of real life actors and friends of Goldberg and Rogen playing versions of themselves at a party at James Franco's new house right before the Biblical version of the Apocalypse. Not a fan of L. A. Jay (Jay Baruchel) isvisiting Seth (Seth Rogen) as the two attempt to rekindle their friendship since the Californication of Seth and his inclusion into a new set of friends that include the likes of Franco and Jonah Hill to name just a few.

This is the End could easily be seen as an excuse for the current Hollywood comedy A-Listers to work happily together whilst celebrating the main preoccupations of their lives. Which is essentially what This is the End turns out to be with the backdrop of the Apocalypse. Each of the actors take friendly potshots at each other's careers and the rumours that circulate around them. The film starts with a rapid fire explosion of cameos, some, as with Paul Rudd are blink and you'll miss them while others combine the likes of Rihanna and a coked out of his brain Michael Cera that are genuinely hilarious. Emma Watson is a wonderfully straight faced member of the cast with her presence being one of the few female 'characters' in the film. 

As the Rapture continues however, the film begins to rest on well trodden stoner film laurels. In-jokes and copious amounts of drug taking as a theme begin to run the comedy aspect of the film quite thin. The CGI work is surprisingly impressive and the film's collection of intensional sketches interspersed throughout do, for the most part, work. However, the playing of rape for laughs does find it's way into This is the End which is more than crass, it is offensive and simply not funny. Also there really is only so much glorification of the smoking of weed before one begins to loose the attention of the clear eyed members of the audience. 

Properly funny in stretches, This is the End becomes quite predictable and doesn't have the sort of dialogue snap of a Joss Whedon ensemble script for example. However, as a Friday night comedy, though not a classic by any means, it gathers together and waters down the collective work of thecast to be an agreeable enough, though lesser instalment in their cinematic canon.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This Is The End. USA 2013. Directed by Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen. Starring James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen... Out in the UK today

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