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This Is the End


this is the end poster

It’s all about who you know, right? And who do those bigwig Hollywood types know? Other bigwig Hollywood types. If you need evidence, just check out the last two Best Picture winners, The Artist and Argo. Critics seem to love the movies that hold a mirror up to the industry. While This Is the End is everything Hollywood and more, it’s getting such great reviews because it is actually just really funny.

Grade:

B

Call it nepotism or self-indulgence or what have you, but Seth Rogen uses This Is the End as his chance to take advantage of recent success. In an industry filled with actors taking parts simply for paychecks between “actual” roles, Rogen decides to make one for himself…and all his buddies.

Rogen brings along his cronies for a proverbial circle jerk of inside jokes, raunchy humor, and weed. This Is the End follows Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, and Danny McBride as the apocalypse arrives in the middle of Franco’s pretentious housewarming party. Predictably, the film is up to its ears in cameos from Rihanna and Emma Watson to Jason Segel and Michael Cera—the only one playing a role vastly different from his own personality, or at least we hope.

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Each actor plays a variation of himself, but some get off easier than others. Robinson and Rogen, in particular, come out of the film relatively unscathed as the scrutiny really centers on Franco and McBride, who react in game fashion. Meanwhile, Jonah Hill frolics on the sideline as an effeminate version of himself that I found grating, but I know was hilarious to others, which lends to the subjectivity of comedy and the general appeal of this film.

This Is the End provides plenty of laughs, but many of them are popular culture references and most evoke short-term humor. By this I mean, there was never a moment where I simply couldn’t stop laughing, except for a certain scene between McBride and Franco regarding a nudie magazine. Apart from that, each joke passes relatively quickly. For some this is not a bad thing, but personally each laugh felt slightly cheapened as a result.

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In any case, This Is the End is a highly entertaining piece of work. The relentless attacking of each other’s works and respective rumors circulating is a real treat for the audience given how politically correct and scripted most rumor responses are these days. If for nothing else, go to see Robinson and McBride who really stand out as the main sources of the humor.

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    • movie snob
    • June 19th, 2013

    Despite the relatively favorable review, I have trouble seeing it as anything other than a self-indulgent exercise with the sole purpose of generating money.

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