It’s strange to think that This Is The End is the funniest movie of the year so far. At first glance it looks like a vanity project where Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg just wanted to work with all their friends and then setting that idea against the biblical end of the world. It really feels like it shouldn’t work at all but you know what? It really really does.
To put it succinctly: I haven’t laughed that hard all year.
The film starts with Jay Baruchel arriving in LA to visit his old friend Seth Rogen. Seth has achieved Hollywood success and after spending the first few hours together Seth brings Jay to James Franco’s house for a massive housewarming party. The hook here is slightly obvious: Jay doesn’t like any of Seth’s Hollywood friends.
Then, mid party, the rapture happens. Left behind, Seth, Jay, and James along with Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, and Danny McBride barricade themselves into the house in a bid to survive.
The movie is full of every level of raunchy joke you can imagine would show up from these guys along with a slew of inside jokes at the expense of Hollywood and themselves. Each one plays a sort of stereotyped version of themself, James Franco is the pretentious weirdo, Danny McBride is the total douchebag, and so on. It’s possible that in some far future when there’s little context a lot of the inside humour will be lost on audiences but right now? It’s all solid gold.
The narrative of the film, the basic realization that it’s the rapture and they’ve been left behind, is anchored by Jay and Seth’s story exploring the nature of being best bros growing apart and generally being good dude to each other (and everyone else).
The core of morality isn’t oppressive but it’s present in every scene to drive the character arcs forward and the the resolution at the end, which is both hilarious and sweet, really pays off with the underlying message of the film.
And seriously, I haven’t laughed that hard all year. Cameos from Michael Cera and Emma Watson provide some of the funniest moments in the first act and the 6 guys themselves are all hilarious from frame one to the end. Craig Robinson in particular will probably break big out of this and Jay Baruchel, probably the least famous of the 6 at this point for some reason (the guy’s been in a bunch of best picture winners and block busters but for some reason isn’t a household name) deserves to break huge.
So should you see This Is The End? Yes, yes you should. It has some lulls to be sure, but they are more than made up for by the rest of the films hilarity and sweetness.