Who coulda guessed that the best comedy of the summer might involve a bunch of actors facing the Biblical end of the world? Years ago Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg and Jay Baruchel (with Jason Stone) made a trailer for an imaginary movie called Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse, and this week they released the feature expansion of the idea. Rogen and Goldberg wrote and co-directed, each making their feature debut as directors.
This Is the End sees six actors — Rogen, Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and James Franco — trapped in Franco’s house when a raging party is interrupted by the Rapture. The movie has all the lewd and vulgar jokes you’d expect from that crew of actors, but also pokes sly fun at celebrity, and wraps all the goofy humor around a genuinely moral core.
It’s not the movie you expect, and it is funny as hell. Man of Steel is the big attention-getter this weekend, but don’t overlook This Is the End. After you’ve seen the film, chime in below to tell us what you thought about the movie. As always with these pieces, spoilers are fully encouraged.
As Germain said when he reviewed the movie, there are parts where the humor and pace sag to some degree, but Rogen and Goldberg do a great job balancing a horde of characters with tense setpieces, wild comedy, and that redeeming core idea about, y’know, being cool to one another.
There are excellent guest appearances (Michael Cera, for one, and also the cameo from Channing Tatum) but Craig Robinson is the consistent standout. He helps center the movie, and when everyone else is going big he takes his energy down a notch and manages to stand out all the same. Some of his seemingly tossed-off asides are among the movie’s funniest moments. And then there’s Danny McBride, not only playing right into the image of a selfish douchebag, but taking that persona just about as far as it can possibly go.
Here’s the short that inspired the film: