If you were a rich, young, Hollywood celebrity who came from nothing but were now famous what would you do? Probably something close to what Seth Rogen did with This is the End. Get a pack of your friends together and make a comedy about the end of the world wrought with giant demon penises, sink-hole humor and lots and lots (and seriously…lots) of drugs.
This is the End is one of those movies where people play themselves (like Being John Malkovich) but instead of being a weird introspective movie about a portal into the body of a movie star, this flick has always-awesome Emma Watson wielding an axe and stealing all the booze the fellas have.
Rogen brought in some heavy hitters for this movie: Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride round out the main cast with appearances from the aforementioned Emma Watson, Jason Segel, Mindy Kaling, Paul Rudd, Aziz Ansari and Michael Cera.
We are left to wonder at the closeness to reality in which these characters play themselves in This is the End. Franco exhibits a serious man-crush on Rogen, Hill and Baruchel HATE each other, Robbins is constantly wearing a towel that says simply: Mr. Robinson, as if people didn’t know who he was.
Michael Cera plays a drug addict psychopath who slaps Rhianna in the ass, blows a handful of coke in the face of Christopher Mintz-Plasse and gets a tag-team style blowjob in the bathroom Baruchel was attempting to use in Franco’s house.
The movie goes from “over-the-top Hollywood party” movie to full-on craziness when the rapture hits and hundreds of people are sucked into the sky on beams of blue light. The “good” people are taken from Earth, leaving the terran planet to the heathens. Of course everyone at the party remains.
Eventually the main cast is stranded in Franco’s house with limited supplies and no hope of rescue because the world has gone to hell in a hand basket. They battle demons, themselves, Emma Watson and hell hounds before they eventually make a run for Franco’s Prius, which of course is almost immediately totaled by cannibals.
The culmination of all that is funny and wrong with this movie is when Rogen and Baruchel are running from the cannibals and they encounter none other than the devil himself. He is in the form of a giant, horned, fire breathing monster with a proportionally giant swinging dong. In true kid-like humor this is the focal point of the entire scene, but not directly…you just can’t miss it because it…keeps…swinging…like the pendulum on the world clock.
Often-times comedies that try to go “too big” fall flat, but some do not – Tropic Thunder comes to mind – and This is the End manages to go big but stay small in the humor department while maintaining a level of serious discourse about how relationships are strained and tested in life-threatening situations.
Overall I would give This is the End a thumbs up. You should check it out!
This is Bin Fodder Movie Reviewed Tim Blacksmith signing off.