By Benjamin Lane
This is the End. (2013). Run time: 106 mins. MPAA: R (for crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use, and some violence). Starring: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, and Kevin Hart. Written and directed by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg.
Don’t even begin to read this review yet. Just avert your eyes to the cast and credit section directly above, and read the cast for this movie. Go ahead. Do it. That’s a cast, am I right? And they aren’t playing some characters in a comedy film, they are playing themselves. Seth Rogan is Seth Rogan, James Franco is James Franco, etc. The plot is, Seth Rogan and Jonah Hill get together and go over to James Franco’s house for a party, and while they are there, the apocalypse happens. LA is on fire, the end has come, and the a completely messed up view of the book of Revelation is a reality upon the earth. Now, Franco and friends have to band together to battle the apocalypse. This really is a make it or break it comedy, for two reasons. One, it’s just a stupid premise, and two, it’s risky for Seth Rogan to direct a movie, given that he’s never done that before. Well, he and Evan Goldberg direct, and they do it fantastically, so all worries about that aside, and as for the stupid plot, they know it, and they run with it, and the result is This is the End, a comedy that is actually funny. So funny I can promise that if you are a film nerd and you understand most of the references in the film regarding the actors, your gut may be sore days after seeing it.
I don’t know what it is, but for some reasons the comedies I dread seeing end up being my favorites. My friend dragged me to the theater to see Ted in 2012, and it ended up making my list for 15 best films of the year, and it was my favorite comedy of the year. I didn’t think This is the End looked funny at all, but I can honestly say it is the funniest comedy I have seen in years! I really just didn’t know what to expect. All these big time comedic actors portray themselves in an apocalyptic horror comedy? What is this? But it works! This movie knows exactly what it is, the actors know exactly who they are and what their fans think of them, and they take it from there. It is so refreshing to see a movie like this, where the actors understand certain gripes certain fans have with them, and they just make fun of themselves in the movie. It’s great, fresh, and original!
Apart from basically every comedic actor in the business today making an appearance in the film, the main positive aspect of This is the End is the script by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg. Hilarious. This is one of the best screenplays of the year and that is not an light statement. It is that rare script that succeeds with providing one gut busting laugh after another and continuing to do it pervasively. I can’t praise it enough.
FINAL VERDICT: Want a comedy that will make you laugh so hard your gut hurts for days? This is the End is your movie. This is one of the absolute best comedies I have seen in years and it is without a doubt the funniest movie of 2013. Just see it. You wont regret it. (A-)