Okay, so I’m going to start this off by making it clear that I didn’t really go into this movie with high expectations. Being a product of the Apatow crowd (Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride etc.) I knew that I couldn’t approach this movie with my thickest critics shades on. While there have been several good, lewd but story oriented flicks to come out of that crowd like 50/50, Superbad, Knocked Up, and Pineapple Express, most of their films miss their target.
I’ll just be be very straightforward here: ‘This is the End’ belongs to the latter camp.
As is tradition with Rogan and company, the humor relies on lewd jokes and pointless references. Personally I don’t get many laughs out of that type of humor, and can count on one hand the number of times I even chuckled.
The humor has its own audience and some might adore the film for its comical use of the male genitalia, but for those of you who like wit, and whimsy, you’ll be left heavily dissatisfied. That’s not to say that there is no wit in the movies one hour and forty minute run-time; there are small little glimmers of clever humor, and the actors deliver some lines with just the right amount of charm. Unfortunately whatever wit exists is brought down by the asinine pop-culture references and potty humor.
Other problems are that some jokes just fall flat, and lack any edge. They just repeat the same curse words over and over and expect it to make the audience giggle. The plot is predictably thin, the CG sucks (I’m not sure if that was intentional or not), there’s way too much build up in the opening half that adds nothing to the plot, and despite the star-studded cast, it just all feels forced.
Oh, and about that cast. James Franco, and Johah Hill are completely forgettable, and their gags are always a miss. Seth Rogan is Seth Rogan (as the movie points out early on) and has no memorable lines or jokes and Danny McBride is completely unlikable (never have been a fan of the guy). The worst part is that Jay Baruchel was cast as the secondary lead, which is just mind-boggling because the guy has no charm whatsoever. He wasn’t funny for a second of the film, and he can’t even play a good straight man.
Luckily, coming to save the day is the always awesome, Craig Robinson. I could care less if the man has played the exact same character in every movie he’s ever been in (aside from Hill and Franco, they all have) that man is so good and so funny when it comes to that one role, that he makes the movie worth watching. It’s a shame he hasn’t branched out to different forms of comedy, because Robinson is outrageously funny. His screaming gag was a miss, but everything else that Robinson did or said made me like the movie that much more.
Seriously, please be in every movie ever from now on
Now the movie isn’t terrible. The humor is very self aware, as the actors continuously call out each others acting cliche’s, and make subtle winks at what’s going on in the plot. That’s where all the wit is contained. Most of the fun comes from celebrity appearances, and the funniest joke in the movie is what happens between Aziz Ansari and Craig Robinson, and Robinson’s retelling of the situation.
The actors are clearly having fun, and it rubs off on the audience in certain scenes, and when some of the actors play against type (Michael Cera for example had some good gags) there are some humorous results.
'This is the End's major fault lies in the fact that the plot totally serves the humor instead of the other way around. The other apocalyptic comedy that released this year, ‘The Worlds End’ was amazing because every joke was witty, and was in reference to what was happening on screen. Not a second was wasted on a pointless joke, or scene. To put it bluntly ‘This is the End’ plays as “Rogan and friends tell jokes…oh and there’s an apocalypse too.”
It’s not near as good as Superbad, or Pineapple Express, and it’s not near as bad as Zach and Miri Make a Porno. It’s just a mediocre, time-killer.
I give ‘This is the End’ a 5/10.