Movie review: This is the End
Here's a question for you, which actor do you think it would be best to hang out with at the end of the world? Someone like Bruce Willis would be too obvious a choice; besides, he'd probably just whine about having to hang out with non A-listers and throw a huge wobbly and go sulk in the corner.
Steve Carell would probably be a good choice, as he looks like he'd handle the end of the word scenario pretty well; and if he didn't, you could just tell him to pretend to be Michael Scott for light relief.
There's one name that you wouldn't want to spend time hanging with for the last time, if this film's any indication, and that's James Franco.
Actors Seth Rogen (Seth Rogen) and Jay Baruchel (Jay Baruchel) are such good buddies that when Jay comes in from New York to LA, he'll hook up with Seth at his house.
On this visit, they do what they normally do: take some drugs and play video games. On this visit though, Seth informs Jay that they've got a really cool party to go to; James Franco (James Franco) has invited a number of his famous friends around for a party at his über cool new house, and Seth and Jay and invited.
Jay is reluctant, particularly when he hears that Jonah Hill (Jonah Hill) is going to be there, but Seth talks him into it.
When they arrive, they soon realise that James has invited a large number of famous faces from film and TV. After catching up with the likes of Craig Robinson (Craig Robinson), Danny McBride (Danny McBride) and yes, Jonah Hill, Jay and Seth pop out to a local convenience store.
After being in the store a couple of minutes, something really odd starts to happen. Something really dark and scary. Luckily the pair escape the peculiar events that took place and quickly make their way back to the party. They soon realise that the horrors they left behind weren't exclusive to the convenience store, as all hell breaks loose at James Franco's house, literally making it the party to end all parties.
Hollywood is no stranger to making end of the world films, as they've been summer blockbuster fodder for years.
There are also a large number of films that feature actors playing themselves, including Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, and a myriad of stars as themselves in Robert Altman's The Player.
TV has also had great success with this formula, in particular with The Larry Sanders Show; every week a number of high profile actors would appear on Larry's show – one of the most memorable, and brave, was David Duchovny who played a version of his self who was attracted to the talk show host. And most recently there was Entourage which again featured a large number of famous faces who were willing to poke fun at themselves.
This is the End then is like a crossover comic for film fans, making cinematic worlds collide with the merging of these two genres. And it works incredibly well.
Not only does the film have a cast willing to go the extra distance in making fun of themselves and their public personas, it also has an amazing amount of cameos from other stars willing to do the same. Not only are there too many to mention, but it would also spoil many of the film's surprises. So if you expect to see the film anyway, try and avoid the trailer at all costs.
The real underlying fun of the film is to be had elsewhere however. Its ultimate premise is how would a group of celebrities behave with one another if they were trapped inside a house together, with the end of the world looming. As one of the answers is that they end up filming sequels to films they've appeared in together – using the actual camera James Franco used in 127 Hours no less – and you get an idea of the direction the film goes.
As you would expect from a film starring Seth Rogen (who also co-directed and wrote the film, alongside Evan Goldman), Jonah Hill and Danny McBride, the humour gets very crude, very quickly. Yes it's very silly and childish, and yet difficult to avoid, as it hits you straight between the eyes, or slightly more appropriately, slightly lower parts of the anatomy. If you aren't a fan of crass humour, regardless of the fact it's being delivered by an actor playing themselves or not, this film's not for you.
It's wickedly fun and far more entertaining than it really deserves to be, but if were to be the end of the world, an invite to James Franco's house-warming party would prove to be one hell of a happy ending.
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