This Is the End (2013) by The Critical Movie Critics

Movie Review: This Is the End (2013)

This Is the End (2013) by The Critical Movie Critics

Comedy will survive the Apocalypse.

Wow. Who knew the End of Days would be filled with giant sinkholes, oversexed demons, the proliferation of the “F” word and a cameo appearance by the Backstreet Boys bathed in a thick haze of burnt high-grade weed? And who knew how the final judgment would affect a group of young comic actors, including James Franco (“127 Hours“), Jonah Hill (“21 Jump Street“), Seth Rogen (“The Guilt Trip“), Jay Baruchel (“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice“), Craig Robinson (“The Office” TV series) and Danny McBride (“Your Highness“)?

Based on a concept created by co-director Rogen (along with Evan Goldberg, both also co-wrote) and Baruchel from 2010, This Is the End features the cast playing themselves at a housewarming party for Franco. At it a dozen or so more recognizable celebrities also appear, such as Emma Watson (most recently, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”), Michael Cera (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World“), Mindy Kaling (also from “The Office” TV series), Channing Tatum (“G.I. Joe: Retaliation“), Paul Rudd (“Wanderlust“), Rihanna, Jason Segel (“The Five-Year Engagement“) and Christopher Mintz-Plasse (“Movie 43“), among others.

Unfortunately, the festivities don’t last very long though and most of the partygoers are dispatched quickly as earthquakes, explosions, massive sinkholes and firestorms strike the Hollywood hills wiping out most of the population not suddenly taken to Heaven in radiant blue steaks of light. Left to their own devices, the five (McBride appears later on) barricade themselves inside and try to come to grips with what’s going on. Baruchel, in his infinite wisdom, comes to an early conclusion that this is the Apocalypse and if they will turn to God, they will be saved and instantly ascend into Paradise. The others don’t quite agree, so there are various scenes of panic, fear, fighting, backstabbing and demonic possession during the bulk of this end-of-world sleepover (some funnier than others).

Watson, after disappearing during the initial craziness, returns in a very funny sequence (although fans of her Hermione character might have some trouble accepting her dropping the “F” bomb several times), while Michael Cera plays a coked-up, obnoxious jerk (far removed from his real-life persona). Also, the jokes come fast and furious, many laced with profanity (obviously), often self-depreciating and referencing and insulting the films made by the cast (“Pineapple Express,” “Superbad,” “Moneyball,” etc.). These illicit some genuine guffaws, but the longer This Is the End plays (and it plays two hours — far too long for a comedy), the more violent, weird and less humorous it becomes, until it finally concludes in a heaven-like atmosphere straight out of “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.”

This is the End (2013) by The Critical Movie Critics

A video memoir.

Of course, when a film is dealing with the end of the world, there is not a lot of wiggle room and even in this current age of motion picture excess, the fire-scorched landscapes, smoke-filled atmosphere and 200-foot “Cloverfield” monstrosities seem way over the top. A message of biblical salvation, however, is certainly an interesting addition particularly in light of current feelings toward Christianity in Hollywood and especially in a movie like this.

It’s not always snicker out loud (like last year’s “Ted“) nor is it a Billy Wilder masterpiece of wry and wit, but overall — after months of complaining about the definite dearth of comedies — this author has to admit that while This Is the End is not perfect, it is certainly funny, for the most part. And even though the laughs become fewer and fewer as the movie goes along, there are more than enough to give this comedy a slightly hearty recommendation.

Critical Movie Critic Rating:
3 Star Rating: Average


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The Critical Movie Critics

I have been a movie fan for most of my life and a film critic since 1986 (my first published review was for "Platoon"). Since that time I have written for several news and entertainment publications in California, Utah and Idaho. Big fan of the Academy Awards - but wish it would go back to the five-minute dinner it was in May, 1929. A former member of the San Diego Film Critics Society and current co-host of "The Movie Guys," each Sunday afternoon on KOGO AM 600 in San Diego with Kevin Finnerty.

'Movie Review: This Is the End (2013)' have 11 comments

  1. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 13, 2013 @ 11:40 am Sprite

    Best comedy of 2013. Smacks The Hangover 3 upside the head with a bong.

  2. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 13, 2013 @ 11:59 am OldJock

    I have to see this just to see Michael Cera play the part of a coke sniffing asshole.

  3. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 13, 2013 @ 12:11 pm a_swinger

    I can’t remeber the last time I laughed so hard. This is a must see movie!

  4. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 13, 2013 @ 1:15 pm G Brindle

    The Rapture was never so funny

  5. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 13, 2013 @ 1:47 pm DerekDivine

    Stay for the early cameos, they are a treat. Bounce afterward, flick is gets dumber as it moves along.

  6. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 13, 2013 @ 3:30 pm Kneel

    On my to watch list list!

  7. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 13, 2013 @ 5:42 pm JmsDnns

    More toilet bowel humor from the Apatow crew. I can’t understand why people praise this stuff, it’s laziest kind of humor there is and it has no lasting effect.

  8. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 13, 2013 @ 8:16 pm smoothanimator

    going to get stoned and watch wit friends over weekend.

  9. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 14, 2013 @ 10:14 am Conrad

    It’s funny and all but what’s the fasciantion with male genetilia?

    • The Critical Movie Critics

      June 15, 2013 @ 6:09 pm Fook Yu

      ‘Taboo’ shocks generate laughs because we’re not supposed to see them in public forums.

  10. The Critical Movie Critics

    June 17, 2013 @ 1:20 am taylor hills

    The movie was alright. I was expecting more from these actors. Definitely some funny scenes but was lacking at the end. There were some really cheesy not funny parts as well. I’d give it a 6.5

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