27/06/2013

This Is The End

Apocalypse movies are always shown from the perspective of the "important" people trying to save the planet: the army, marines, government officials and folks from the UN, but while all that is going on no-one has a clue what normal folks who've had their day ruined are up to, and therein lies the subtle genius of This Is the End's premise. When running to the shops for cigarettes and taking a break from a party at James Franco's new angular pad, Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen witness a strange attack from above and the subsequent hysteria on the streets. They return to the party where everyone but Jay choosing to believe it was just another LA earthquake but after fleeing outside, the ground opens up and swallows the celebrity guests leaving nothing but the remaining gang - Franco, Rogen, Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson - to hide in what's left of the house and figure out how to survive together.

Before everything kicks off Franco and Rogen are sitting in a hallway smoking weed (natch) and chatting about making a Pineapple Express sequel, and this adaptation of the 2007 short film was probably conjured up in a similar way. It's all massively self-indulgent and clearly no-one is having as much fun as the guys on screen but despite the obvious padding and lack of sharper gags in the final act, This Is the End gets away with it because it's so funny.

Half-apocalypse and half-celebrity parody, it only works because everyone involved is so willing to rip the shit out of themselves and everyone else. James Franco's new place is so painfully pretentious he considers a painted hollow penis to be art, Jonah Hill is about halfway up his colon thanks to his Oscar-nominated performance in Moneyball, Jay Baruchel is the nerdy, uncomfortable one and Danny McBride is fucking useless. It goes on a bit too long and the final scene isn't half as joyous as it should be, but if I see anything as hilarious as McBride and Franco's argument about who's going to masturbate where, then consider this a great year for comedy.