This Is The End Review: It’s been a while since a great ensemble comedy has come to fruition. They are not easy to make as they can become easily muddled with complications. But forming an all-star team of comedic actors and writers makes this different from all the rest. I didn’t know what to expect from This Is The End and that’s a fine rarity in comedies these days. Like their past projects I was blown away with what I saw and heard. Everyone involved has a drive and a need to surprise, do something new, and shock. This is great since so many actors and directors do the same old shtick over and over again. With so much talent I don’t see how anyone can not laugh. I didn’t want it to end but all things must inevitably end.
I found it comforting that the trailers didn’t reveal all the best moments like so many other movies since there was simply way too many hilarious moments throughout the movie. I wish more trailers did that but if the movie sucks you have no other choice but to put your best moments in. I believe this has one of the best laughs per minute ratios out there. The way that it keeps on going and going, you’d think that it would go on forever. The separate tangents and arguments the guys get into could each go five solid minutes with no stopping or chance of becoming stale. It helped the film overall with their impeccable comic timing, improvisational skills and willingness to deviate from the script. I expect the DVD extended directors cut to be hugely extensive with an unlimited treasure trove of behind the scenes content, outtakes, and extended and deleted scenes. With so much stupid shit going on throughout the movie you have to wonder what didn’t make the final cut. Every main actor had time to shine and get huge laughs more than once. Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson all stole the movie together. It would be impossible to name one actor who stole the movie. Well maybe Michael Cera. It’s a little daunting to remember a funny quote since there were so many of them. The rapid fire succession is unparalleled. Your mind hardly has enough time to remember it later on to say after the movies over. It’s easy to forget and lose track of who said what and when since there is so much going on. It gets crazier as it goes on and seems like the cast was trying to outdo each other for most daring laughs. I love how the environment is so chill where no one is intimidated by the others abilities and everyone is on an even keel. The entire cast was great which includes the actors who had small roles. I liked that they had their fellow comedians have small roles but it made it feel more real to portray the Hollywood lifestyle. Having so much going on makes this movie a requirement for repeat viewings as the legs it has will carry it long in the box office. The shit you miss from laughing so hard the first time just makes it that much better when you see it again.
As you would ascertain from the title of the movie, this is about the apocalypse. End of the world movies have been done to death tending to go the overdramatic route, but I have yet to find one that takes such a bizarre and comedic approach like This Is The End. It would be too easy to just paraphrase the plot as six guys in the apocalypse. It’s more than that as it doesn’t just happen for no reason. The apocalypse is there to reveal the façade they all have been living their whole lives. While they struggle to find food, water, and hellish elements it’s mainly about the guys surviving themselves and each other. This makes the setting of Los Angeles perfect. All the actors are playing themselves with very loose portrayals being depicted. It’s set up as a parody of the Hollywood lifestyle and celebrity. All the main actors are portrayed as self-absorbed, conceited, flawed, materialistic, deluded, selfish assholes. This is true for a lot of actors. But as the movie goes on their true selves begin to reveal as they decide whether they want to change or not. It’s rather comforting to see these actors portray themselves in a self-deprecating way, referencing their previous roles. And it also paints celebrity as something that isn’t that important as they think it is.
During the movie, a quote from The Dark Knight said by the late great Heath Ledgers Joker immediately came to my attention. “You see, their morals, their code, it’s a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They’re only as good as the world allows them to be. I’ll show you. When the chips are down, these… these civilized people, they’ll eat each other.” It’s a brilliant quote which adds extra resonance to the world today and what could happen if the world fell on dire straits. It’s important to not lose ones humanity when the whole world has gone to shit.
What I really liked is that I would act in a similar way when bunkered down in a house during the apocalypse. Mainly getting drunk, doing drugs, and joking around. And who wouldn’t when the world is going to end.
Judging from past incarnations from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg who have written together and individually in past projects, their track record is clearly proven in stone with massive success. It’s a wonder it’s taken them this long share directing responsibilities on a project with so much writing experience between the two. But the right project is better than the first immediate project. Adapted from the short Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse which they both wrote, it’s a passion project shelved for years waiting for the right open. And I am glad it has taken this long as it’s one of the best and original comedies I’ve ever seen. They somehow managed together to blend a mash up of madness among an eclectic cast and be highly successful. It isn’t an easy task with an ensemble comedy and can be easy to lose track of all the characters and story. It managed to keep it all together in a coherent way. It rivals the brilliant nonsensical insanity of past comedy ensemble classics like the Monty Python films, Caddyshack and the Christopher Guest films. Not to mention the plethora of Judd Apatow films he produced and directed that many if not all of the actors here have starred and appeared in. Working so closely for many movies and being friends in real life made the chemistry unbelievable. It just felt so natural. I love it when movies like these have the free reign to go anywhere and not adhere to a specific script and be mindful of content. You could tell all the actors added jokes and gags as it went on, seeing if it worked or not. I have a feeling it was like a round table discussion where everyone contributed something as everything was seriously considered.
It’s weird how people still get grossed out by some movies. This wasn’t that bad in terms of gross. There were obviously plenty of crude, disgusting, jokes and the occasional dick joke which is industry standard for an R rated comedy. If you’ve seen any of the previous Apatow films, you know exactly what you’re getting into. But I hardly get disgusted with shit like that so people are different obviously. The cameos were also very well done. They just pop out of nowhere, coming at you when you least expect it. I would have been comfortable with this movie being an extra hour long. There was no down time or drag at all even when it packed so much in under two hours. During the end I didn’t think it would get any stupider or crazy but alas I was wrong. It was so unpredictable but went along with the movie so well. It felt like the end of a stupid 80s raunchy comedy which the whole cast has seen plenty of. I think this is the best bromance movie ever made; even if everyone is trying to screw each other over. It all comes together in the end in such a sweet way. The ending showed what brotherhood and friendship was all about. And in what may be the greatest accolade I can give to This Is The End, I give major props for the 80s classic Navy Seals reference. Any movie that can reference that movie is a great movie in my book.
This Is The End is a much welcomed comedy that brings originality along with gross out gags and a good heart at its core. It’s clearly in line for best comedy of the year. It has one of the best comedic casts in ages, showcasing the very best of their talents. It’s brave in its delivery of the weird, gross, and random, not letting up till you are in tears. I love how Rogen and Goldberg realize how douchey Hollywood can be while still being on the inside of it all. The message is simple and something we should all try to live by. Five satanic possessions out of five.