Last year, if you would have told me that I would be calling a movie where Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, and James Franco played themselves during the apocalypse one of the best movies of the year, I probably would have thought you were crazy… or punched you and stole your shoes… you know, depending on how much medication I was on at the time.
But the truth is, This is the End is actually one of the best 2013 movies I have seen. It may not have class and it may not have high sophistication, but it’s funny, it’s unique, and you never quite know where the thing is headed and that results in one heck of a fun ride.
The movie begins with Seth Rogan (playing himself) meeting his old friend, Jay Baruchel (also playing himself) at the airport to spend the weekend together. Since Jay lives in Canada, he feels like he is drifting away from his old friend and isn’t very thrilled when Seth invites him to James Franco’s house for a party — and then the world ends.
I’m sorry, folks, I may not possess great panache and complexity, but that alone is brilliance for a comedy. At the party you’ve got stand up comedians, musicians, movie stars — all playing themselves — and they’re getting killed left and right. Hell, you’ve all see the previews… wasn’t it just… wonderful to see Michael Cera die? You little two-dimensional hack! That’s what you get for playing the same part in every movie!
As someone who frequently binges and purges on the slop that tsunamis from Hollywood, seeing movie stars bite the hands that feed them and then bite the proverbial bullet is gratifying. Seriously, I really have no great desire to see Michael Cera or any of the others really die, but seeing them (or at least an exaggerated version of them) meet their maker in horrible ways is just so darned gratifying.
What’s more is that This is the End actually has a pretty neat apocalypse. Seriously, when was the last movie that you can remember that didn’t star that dimwit Kirk Cameron that actually showed the biblical apocalypse? Even though I’m not a believer in make-believe stuff, they actually make this particular end of the world scenario pretty scary.
Aside from the end of the world stuff, This is the End is a gleeful lambasting of the Hollywood lifestyle and the very fact that actors were left over after the rapture is not lost in it. James Franco actually pops a pretty hilarious joke about it when someone mentions that the righteous would be taken to heaven before the apocalypse began.
On top of all of that, This is the End tells a fine story of bromance between Seth and Jay and, yes… it’s completely believable. Who hasn’t been in that situation when you try and salvage a dying friendship and it all keeps going bad? Very relatable stuff going on there.
Of course, the entire thing is hilarious too because, if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be worth the wiener jokes it makes. Everything and anything is made fun of and it seems like a lot of the gags hit the mark and it made me laugh more than enough to justify the ticket price.
So, there you have it… surprisingly, one of the strongest movies of the year is about a bunch of self-obsessed actors getting high during the end times. I’m as surprised about that as you are.
I understand that this type of humor probably isn’t for everyone, but that’s because they’re lame.