Film Review: This is the End

this-is-the-end

Whilst at James Franco’s housewarming party, Seth Rogan and Jay Baruchel are suddenly faced with the apocalypse. Holed up in Franco’s house with a number of other celebrities, they must survive the fire and brimstone closing in on them as well as settle some personal differences.

If you’re not a fan of the specific brand of humour that Seth Rogan and his merry gang have largely built a career around, then there’s not a huge amount in This is the End that’s going to convince you to the contrary. However, for those who find nothing funnier than Seth and friends riffing of each other, then there’s plenty to enjoy.

In terms of the humour, we know pretty much exactly what we’re getting for most of the film. There’s plenty of the standard drug and dick jokes that raise a giggle the first few times but ultimately become a little stale and repetitive. There is also a fair few references to previous films the actors have appeared in, so if you aren’t well versed in their filmography, some jokes may go a little over your head.

Much of the humour, however, particularly in the first half of the film comes from the novelty that everyone is playing themselves, although usually twisted, over the top versions. The decision to do this is a masterstroke but sometimes comes across as a bit of self-congratulatory circle jerking. If they had played ‘proper’ characters then it would have lost a lot of its humour and arguably its largest USP, but there are times when the self parody goes so far that it just feels like they’re patting each other on the back and saying how awesome they all are.

Thisistheend-cast

There are some excellent interactions between some of them, however, with Danny McBride probably providing most of the laughs. He’s not afraid to send up most of his buddies, and an argument between him and James Franco over a ‘used’ porno magazine is disturbingly hilarious. Jonah Hill as an uber nicey nicey version of himself is also worth a few laughs although, like Seth Rogan, if you’re not a fan, there’s little here to change your opinion.

Having several other celeb cameos popping up throughout raises a fair few laughs and further adds to the novelty factor of the whole thing. Michael Cera as a coked up sex pest, for instance, is pretty funny, whilst Emma Watson’s feisty five minutes is also a highlight.

The second half of the film actually mixes things up a little, dispensing with the straight up comedy angle and actually becoming more of an action film. This change of pace really gives the film a bit of drive, stopping it from becoming too stale and gives some of the characters more of a sense of purpose. There are also a bunch of fun references to horror films, including Rosemary’s Baby, Ghostbusters and The Exorcist.

So, whilst This is The End is funny in places, it’s also pretty inconsistent and for large parts isn’t nearly as funny as it thinks it is. It relies a little too heavily on Seth Rogan’s tried and tested formula and feels a little too familiar in places, despite the setting. Having said that, when it’s funny, it’s very funny and for fans of Rogan et al, this could well prove to be one of this year’s funniest films.

3 and a half pigeons

3.5/5 pigeons

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36 thoughts on “Film Review: This is the End

  1. ckckred says:

    Nice review. I usually don’t go for Rogan’s kind of humor, but I really enjoyed it. A few parts felt pretty inconsistent, but I laughed during a majority of the movie.

  2. filmhipster says:

    Nice review Chris, I think I’ll out my disdain for James Franco aside for this one and try to enjoy it. πŸ™‚

  3. keith7198 says:

    This is a veritable Who’s Who of actors I can’t stand. LOL

  4. theipc says:

    I don’t enjoy the humor of these people but, for some reason, this looks really funny.

  5. CMrok93 says:

    Laughed my ass off from start to finish and still do to this day when I think of little jokes that came at me like spit-fire. Good review.

  6. Gene says:

    I appreciate your mentions of “their kind of humor”. While I do like a couple films from each of these actors, for the most part they strike me as the kind of comedians who think throwing an F-bomb into every sentence raises the comedic value. This is getting a lot of praise though, some even labeling it a classic comedy already. Good review!

    • Thanks Gene! I definitely wouldn’t go as far as say it’s a comedy classic! There are some good moments in it though and I probably would watch it again. There is an element of ‘ooh let’s just talk about drugs and dicks’ though to try and raise a laugh and that just falls flat at times.

  7. nediunedited says:

    Aw man! Sorry you didn’t totally enjoy it–bummer. And yes–it is a particular kind of humor (for sure) but I frackin’ loved it! I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time!

    But, I also went before the high praise started so my expectations were easily surpassed…

    Great write-up! Later! πŸ˜€

    • Thanks mate! I did enjoy it, just didn’t love it like a lot of people have. I think the problem for me might have been too high expectations. I was expecting a complete laugh fest so was a bit disappointed when that didn’t happen.

  8. Nick Powell says:

    I never reviewed this film myself as I couldn’t quite figure it out but your words really are something I completely agree with. It’s severely inconsistent and the film cannot figure out what it really wants to be when it’s in its slower strides. Still one of the best comedies of the year, however, especially given what else is out there.

    • Glad you agree Nick! I agree that it probably is one of the best comedies of the year, which is a little depressing to be honest. I don’t know what’s gone wrong with comedies recently. I can’t remember the last film I saw at the cinema that made me consistently laugh out loud. Roll on Alan Partridge πŸ™‚

  9. table9mutant says:

    Great review. πŸ™‚ Yep – we’re so totally in agreement on this one.

  10. sati says:

    Great that you found something funny here even though you don’t completely like this humor, normally I don’t as well but these guys just make it so funny πŸ™‚ I read somewhere Rogen actually had to step up and stop some disputes because the guys were really insulting each other and even though they were friends things got a bit ugly, apparently McBride kept insulting Hill – I bet it was hilarious πŸ™‚

    • Haha, is that so? Sounds like they used this as an excuse to get some stuff off their chests! I loved McBride in it though, especially when they first see him and he just lays into them all.
      But yeah I did find some really funny moments in this, it was just a bit hit and miss for me.

  11. Tyson Carter says:

    Heard so much praise for this, and I know I’ll love it, so it appears you scored this too low πŸ˜‰

  12. le0pard13 says:

    I finally caught up with the film this week. Good look at this, Chris. BTW, I’ve nominated you for both a Sunshine and WordPress Family Award.

  13. Mark Hobin says:

    Probably the funniest comedy of the year. Not a perfect film by any means, but the hits far outweighed the misses. Nice review.

  14. Brittani Burnham says:

    This is the funniest movie I’ve seen all year. I still kind of chuckle when I think about that argument over the porno. I can’t believe how long that lasted.

  15. Foogos says:

    My favorite review of this movie so far, since everyone else is blowing it to high heaven, and I’ve yet to see it. Now I don’t feel like I’m the kid that wasn’t invited to the party.

    • Haha, thanks! Glad I could offer a more level headed look at it (I think)! There’s a lot to like here, especially if you like the actors but I don’t think it was as good as a lot of people are making out. Still worth a watch though.

  16. While I found this film funny it was not the gut busting rolling in the aisles funny that I was led to believe it was going to be. Many of the jokes and bits were funny but when something was unfunny that did not stop them from rolling with it for five minutes anyway. That Michael Cera looks like he knows how to party. πŸ˜‰

  17. Nostra says:

    This probably is my favorite comedy this year. Already seen it twice and laughed just as loud the second time.

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