This Is The End: A Flickcharter’s Movie Review
The end-of-the-world takes to uncharted waters in This is the End, a hilarious but also strange concoction from Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, the creators of Superbad and Pineapple Express. Having seen the film twice, it seems to take as many viewings to really appreciate it because you’ll never know what hit you on the initial viewing.
As the film opens, Jay Baruchel has come to Los Angeles to try and patch up his friendship with Seth Rogan. After a day of getting high and playing 3D video games, Rogan drags Baruchel to the last place he wants to be: James Franco’s new house. Here, we meet all kinds of celebrities (including a coked-up Michael Cera). While away from the house for a short while, Rogan and Baruchel become witnesses to some strange happenings at a nearby convenient store.
Returning to Franco’s place in desperation, they soon become witnesses to the first steps of the end of the world. In the process, the majority of the guests are killed, leaving Franco, Rogan, Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride stuck together to figure out how to survive what might be happening. It’s easier said than done when truths come out and hell literally breaks loose.
This is The End is not the best movie out there, but in a year where good comedy has been in short supply, this is one of the better comedies to be released in quite a while. The film’s opening party scene takes jabs at just about everyone in attendance whether they like it or not (Cera in particular shows a side of himself that seems too good to be true. Still, the callback to it a short while later from Rogan results in one of the film’s biggest laughs).
In some ways, the movie’s funniest stuff belongs to Danny McBride. Although some of the stuff he has done recently has been more annoying than funny, here he makes this version of himself work well. His shouting match with Franco is one of the film’s comedic highlights, with laughs escalating from one line to the next.
Some moments however don’t work very well. The bit with Emma Watson is not so much a surprise attack as it is based off of a misunderstanding that simply didn’t need to be there. It was cringe-inducing until she hit Rogan in the face with the axe. Regardless, can we safely say that anything about rape is entirely off-limits in a comedy like this?
The finale and ending more than make up for the film’s shortcomings. A particular actor makes an appearance as a gimp, and it’s one of the film’s biggest surprises, but the entire finale not only packs a true emotional punch, but at the same time, it makes you laugh in ways you don’t expect. Let’s just say that you will never hear Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” the same way again.
In the end, This is the End packs a lot into its 107-minute run-time. So much so that it might be inviting you back for more after it ends. There are moments that take you for a ride and then you might not know what to think (Five words sums that up: The Exorcism of Jonah Hill) and others leave you confounded. There are a lot of laughs to be had, and it is more likely than not that you will have a great time at the movies by going to see it.
So How Does This Is The End Hold Up to Other Movies of This Type?
Everybody loves Superbad. Including myself. However, that was on the first viewing only. The importance of a great comedy is that it must be able to hold up on repeat viewings, and although there are some jokes that hold their value, many of them just don’t. I’ll take the end of the world over McLovin any day of the week.
This is an interesting matchup. Both films hold their own value, but This is the End is simply a film for the sake of being funny, whereas Seeking a Friend offers so much more for viewers looking for an excellent end-of-the-word flick. It’s also much simpler whereas This is the End, despite being a lot of fun, gets bogged down in its special effects. Seeking a Friend For the End of the World takes this in a walk.
Now for the main event: A stoner comedy about the end of the world versus an epic stoner comedy with as many kills as a Quentin Tarantino flick. Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg wrote both of them (and the former has a great sequence showcasing a possible Pineapple Express 2, one of the film’s many highlights). It might seem like sacrilege to the fans of Pineapple (I like the film myself), but I’m giving it to This is the End. I think this film does a lot more in taking serious risks throughout. I think what really makes Pineapple Express lose here is the film’s ending, because the last scene of the film while funny doesn’t give us a sense of finality. While both are about equally funny, The End takes the cake here.
So Where Does This Is The End Rank on my Flickchart?
This is the End ranks #825 out of 3,799 movies on my Flickchart. Unlike many other comedies this year, this is one that does something with its premise and actually runs with it. It makes for worthwhile entertainment, especially if you are looking for some big laughs.