This is the End – A Review

July 18, 2013 5:44 pm

At first glance, ‘This is the End’ could be viewed as a vanity project. A comedy produced by the actors who star as themselves, it all feels a little bit self-congratulatory. The plot involves Seth Rogan, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and James Franco having to barricade themselves in Franco’s mansion as they try to sit out the apocalypse outside. There is also a range of cameos, including Emma Watson, Michael Cera, Rihanna and Channing Tatum, and quite a few more.

Initially, the premise sounded quite arrogant. ‘Hey, let’s all get together and bring some of our A-list buddies and make a film where we all play ourselves, because cinema audiences love us all SO MUCH.’ However, this presumption was wrong.

In fact, the whole film is a parody to the shallowness of showbiz and those who live within the Hollywood bubble. Franco, Rogan, Hill and their co-stars pull no punches when mocking themselves in a very self-depreciating manner. One of the most memorable lines in relation to this comes from Robinson, as he admits, “we’re Actors, we pretend to be hard but we’re soft as baby Sh&t”. The film is also a reflection on the Hollywood lifestyle and whether or not being a celebrity guarantees being a good person. As the apocalypse begins, those who were deemed good were taken up to heaven by a beam of blue light, and as the story progresses, the Actors begin to question their own worth as people. The best example of this being when Franco says, “Of course, we’re good people, we’re actors. We bring joy to the lives of other people,” to which Baruchel argues, “But we don’t do it for free. We get paid handsomely,” which leads to the question of how making financial gain an ultimate priority can lead to being morally impoverished.

There is a lot going on throughout that makes the film comedy gold. Jonah Hill becomes possessed through some rather unconventional means which leads to ‘The Exorcism of Jonah Hill’. And even though Hill is possessed, his style of humour still shines through, even with the demonic change of his persona. Michael Cera’s cameo is amazing as well. His entire screen time is spent coked up and hitting on Rihanna whilst being an overt pain-in-the-ass which is a complete 180 from the characters he is usually typecast into. Emma Watson robs them for all their water in a misunderstanding and Channing Tatum dons a walking leash and a leather mask for Danny McBride. And we are also treated to a drug-induced production of the Pineapple Express sequel as the apocalypse rages outside. The writing allows for enough laughs to not let the theme of ‘questioning of moral worth’ become too much of a downer.

This is the End is such an outlandish idea but the onscreen talent makes it worth investing time into watching. Unfortunately, this film may be easily forgotten by the end of Summer after the array of comedies and action films coming up over the next few months. In the end (see what I did there?) this film is worth watching if you are a fan of films like Super Bad, Pineapple Express, or just anything staring any of the actors in the film.


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