Thursday, June 6, 2013

This Is the End

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James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Mindy Kaling, Emma Watson, Aziz Ansari, Rihanna, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum--they're all in This Is the End. And they all play themselves. ★★★A pack of hard-partying, self-righteous celebrities singing ditties like "Take Yo Panties Off", blowing coke in each others' faces, and typical debauchery at any Hollywood B-comedy house-warming party.

Jay Baruchel flies into Los Angeles to visit his long-time friend Seth Rogan. Seth insists they go to James Franco's party at his brand new, state-of-the-art, Scarface-esque mansion. Jay's not a fan of that crowd, Seth's "new" group of friends. This Is the End starts off with crude jokes, cameos galore, and your run-of-the mill degeneracy expected from the Apatow crowd. But there's one up-until-now clause in the plot: it's the apocalypse. An explosion, an earthquake, and blue beams emitting from the heavens lift people out of convenience stores, streets, and moving cars. A slew of celebrities die in hilarious fashion and we're left with the first five friends trying to survive in a blazing Los Angeles.

The film, directed by Rogan and buddy Evan Goldberg (writer of Pineapple Express and Superbad), screams of the pack's past entries. It's over-the-top, and the dementia of humor becomes exponentially more ridiculous. But none of it feels out-of-place. The "characters" are served well by their innate chemistry and espousing their criticisms of the posh lives of celebrities. It's rife with homo-eroticism and chauvinism, but not without a healthy dose of demon penises and a nice slap from Rihanna.

I might be partial, but I've never tired of this crew of clowns who have absolutely no shame or boundaries in their unbridled jabs. This Is the End is a quite thrilling comedy/horror with a few genuine laughs, giggles, and even some screams. Plus, the ending is a treasure for those of us who grew up in the 90's. Spoiler: Backstreet's back.

About the Author

Ian Tilman Nichols

Author & Editor

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