This Is The End (2013) Review: Dark, Dark Comedy
“Nothing ruins a party like the end of the world.”
Synopsis: While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the Biblical Apocalypse.
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Although I mostly liked This Is The End, it wasn’t a fun movie. Don’t let the cast list fool you; this is not really a comedy. Instead, it’s a movie that will make you doubt humanity. (Fun!)
I normally try to avoid spoilers in my reviews, but I’m going to break that rule so I can give proper context in the next few paragraphs. This spoiler won’t ruin the movie for you, but you might prefer not to know it, so be forewarned.
The movie is set in Hollywood during the end of days. The Rapture has happened, and those who were deemed worthy ascended to Heaven, leaving behind most of Hollywood (no real surprise there). Not only is the world ending, but those left behind – the characters we follow throughout the movie – are not good people, as evidenced by their being left behind.
This is an exceedingly star-studded cast by its nature, and clearly everyone in it had a lot of fun playing a caricature of themselves. (There are some moments with Michael Cera that I will never be able to get out of my head.) For those who get attached to celebrities, this is probably not a good movie for you – you will undoubtedly see some of your favorites in very unappealing situations. This Is The End quickly devolves into the standard “survivors hunker down and bicker about food” trope, and nobody comes off looking good.
The main cast – James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, and Danny McBride (playing themselves) – do a great job of generally being awful to each other. As is completely appropriate for a movie about the end of the world, it seriously makes the audience doubt whether any of them deserve to survive. (Or whether humanity deserves to survive in general.) It gets hard to root for any of the people left on Earth. Again, this is not a “fun” movie.
I’d recommend it for the interesting twists and the decent effects, but this may be too bleak for some people. Despite a few in-jokes and a great cameo by Emma Watson, This Is The End can be a lot to take. If you’re in a dark mood or prone to hating humanity, maybe sit this one out and watch something with rainbows instead.
Calamity Brains’ Rating: B-
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