This Is the End

Film Title: This Is the End

Director: Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg

Starring: Seth Rogan, James Franco, Jay Baruchel

Genre: Comedy

Running Time: 106 min

Fri, Jun 28, 2013, 00:00


Jay Baruchel stops off in LA to visit fellow Canuck and old pal Seth Rogen. Bucket bongs and joints have been consumed when Seth tells his old chum that he is due at new chum James Franco’s housewarming party. It doesn’t take long for the occasion to wear on Baruchel’s nerves: he leaves the shindig so that he might purchase cigarettes at the nearest convenience store. There, he witnesses something like an earthquake and something like the Rapture. He legs it back to Franco’s to warn the others about an impending apocalypse.

Will any of the comic actors at Franco’s place survive the end of days? And could this project be any more self-regarding?

If you found Your Highness a tad silly or Pineapple Express a mite saggy, then This Is the End will probably leave you gasping for the weed they’re smoking onscreen.

It hardly needs to be said that the film, an expanded version of a YouTube short, is sporadically funny and pretty overstretched. Highlights include a deviant Michael Cera hitting on Rhianna, Danny McBride being, well, Danny McBride-ish, a homemade follow-up to Pineapple Express, and the visible nametag on the lesser-known Craig Robinson. Lowlights include Emma Watson playing a crazed version of herself (she’s nothing like Hermione, geddit?), ridiculous CGI beasties and the assumption that we know (and care for) all the actors concerned.

The movie’s hilarity hit rate is frequently determined by who is onscreen at that very second. There’s a reason, we soon learn if we didn’t know before, why James Franco has become a star despite many low-profile projects and why Jay Baruchel has not become a star despite many high-profile gigs.

This Is the End’s over-reliance on the broken bromance between Baruchel and Rogen is a comic misstep, as is the film’s lazy insistence on repeating the same “they’re not what you think” gag over and over. Michael Cera is a party animal. Jonah Hill is smiley and responsible. Stop. We got it before the first bounce, already.