This Is The End - Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
AS FUNNY as apocalyptic comedy This Is The End is in places, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s directorial debut also smacks of self-indulgence and a few too many bad taste jokes.
The set-up is undoubtedly fun. Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel, playing fictionalised versions of themselves, head to a party being hosted by James Franco only to find themselves trapped by the sudden arrival of the apocalypse.
While they bicker and try to survive by finding salvation, they’re joined by fellow actor colleagues including Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and Emma Watson.
This Is The End works best when playing on your own knowledge of each star’s previous work and their on-screen persona. Far from being smug, it works a treat. Hence, pot-shots at the quality of films such as Pineapple Express and Your Highness are nicely self-deprecating while there’s a lot of fun in seeing Hill play a more sensitive version of himself or Michael Cera cameo as a leacherous, drug popping party monster.
Some of the gags involving end of the world scenarios also work, while the odd moments of horror display a keen understanding and appreciation for genre convention.
But there are also times when This Is The End becomes juvenile, crass and eventually tiresome.
Dick and weed jokes abound (and are kind of expected) but a recurring rape gag is ill-advised and in poor taste.
Danny McBride also becomes more and more annoying and fails to display any range beyond what we’ve come to expect from him – which may well be another joke but one that feels self-serving.
Hence, for every gag that hits, there are plenty that don’t and a lot of the jokes do rely on a prior appreciation of the people involved, so anyone who has yet to see a film from half of the actors involved may well be lost.
This Is The End is therefore a frustrating experience overall. Extremely funny in small doses, excruciatingly unfunny at others, it’s a mixed bag of a film that’s eventually undone by its own excesses.
Running time: 107mins
UK Release Date: June 28, 2013