When a group of close friends gets together, they tend to interact in a very casual, laidback kind of way that is tough to replicate.
Such is the case, both on screen and off with ‘This is The End’.
A party at James Franco’s house is the backdrop for the apocalypse.
Friends Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson (along with many others) are attending this party while beams of blue light lift people into the sky, explosions and massive earthquakes also occur. Many of the attendees are oblivious until things start happening in the Hollywood Hills (where they are). Soon, people are running around, dying in various horrible ways. The aforementioned actors decide to take refuge in Franco’s house until this whole thing blows over.
It turns out, there is more danger than they could have ever expected.
As much as this is a silly comedy, it’s also very violent and dark. Things aren’t only crude in terms of language and subject matter, but it is also violent and gory. Keep the children away.
Everyone comes across as natural and as at ease as humanly possible. They play exaggerated versions of themselves, but Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen do well in their directorial debuts. There had to be a comfort level in working with their friends, as it comes through on the screen. Much of this feels as though we are privy to a hangout of theirs, albeit under some very unusual circumstances. That is a good thing, but, the plot is occasionally bogged down in frat-boy conversations. It isn’t unusual for this to happen when a story is mostly confined to one small area. This is undone when some fire and brimstone type creatures reveal themselves and the action progresses outside of Franco’s house.
Part of the most effective bits of humor within this is how self-aware the actors are of how they are perceived. In some cases, they embrace and run with that while in others, (Michael Cera), they intentionally play against type. Expect Franco to be a weirdo, McBride to be a jerk and Rogen to be an easy-going stoner. No stretches there.
Special features include: commentary, a talk with the directors, outtakes, a trailer, and some extra ‘confessionals’ not included in the movie.
If you are a fan of those who are involved, ‘This Is The End’ will likely please you to no end. It has all of the crude subject matter one should expect along with the bonus of knocking some of young Hollywood down a peg (not really, they’re in on the joke). The tone is all over the place as it swings wildly from horror to comedy, but that just means that it should appeal to more people.
Rated R 106 minutes 2013