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Review: This is the End

Columbia Pictures: (L-r) James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogan, Jay Burachel and Danny McBride in "This is the End"The end of the world has been a “go-to” topic in the world of entertaining before anyone born before the sixties was born. It’s usually done in a way that attempts to cause panic and make the viewers afraid of what the future my hold for all of mankind. This is the End is something similar to that, but it’s written and directed by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg. These are bringing a different spin on the “hot” topic in their very own comedic way.

Jay (Jay Burachel) is coming to spend some time with Seth (Seth Rogan), someone he has considered to be a friend since childhood. He’s not an L.A. kind of guy, but he doesn’t get to see Seth too often anymore and he figures that showing up can’t hurt. From what he understands, Jay will be hanging out with Seth for a few days before heading back home, but Seth has other plans. Seth wants Jay to meet and become friends with his friends. It’s something that he’s been wary of, but the party setting might make things a little more tolerable.

The party is actually a housewarming party at James Franco’s new house and just about all of Seth’s newer friends will be there helping him party the night away. At the newly designed residence, you’ll find a plethora of familiar faces such as Rihanna, Michael Cera, Emma Watson and a few others. Seth Rogan’s closest Hollywood friends are also along for the ride with Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and of course, James Franco being on hand for this festive gathering filled with alcoholic beverages, music and some not so legal mind-blowing narcotics.

With all of the apparently friendly faces at the gathering, you’d think¬† that Jay would be able to have a good time and relax in the Los Angeles environment that surrounds him, but that’s just not the case. He’s still not feeling it and it’s causing him to isolate himself from the others. He wants to leave, but Seth is attempting to talk him into staying until the end of the party. Well, in a sense, that’s exactly what Seth gets when a massive earthquake shakes the very ground they’re standing on.

With everyone both in and out of the house running around in fear due to the world falling apart around them, because of this insanely abnormal earthquake the friends find themselves alone in the Franco’s new house. That’s good from their perspective since the house is supposed to be like a fortress, but things take another turn for the worse once everything around them begins to crumble right before their eyes. Now with no electricity, no way to connect to the outside world and very little to eat, the boys have to find a way to survive what they’ll soon discover is more than an earthquake.

As the world they know crumbles around them due to this seismic convulsion, they come to the realization that this may not be your normal earthly upheaval. After giving it some thought and seeing the total destruction around them, they realize that this may indeed be the end of the world. From then on, it not only becomes a battle for survival, it also becomes a battle of understanding and finding out who their true friends are.

I went into This is the End thinking that this comedic spin on a story surrounding the apocalypse could have went in a negative or positive direction depending on how it was all handled. Coming into it with zero expectations to hang onto allowed me to go in unprepared for what I was about to see. It’s really something that I try to do with every film that I am going to review, but this was done somewhat unintentionally since I didn’t have a bunch of interest in this from the start.

For me, going into This is the End was actually a blessing in disguise due to the fact that I actually thoroughly enjoyed what Rogan and Goldberg put on the screen. For me to simply say I like This is the End would be a complete understatement. Without hesitation, I say that this is one of the best comedies that I’ve ever seen. As a matter of fact, I like it so much that I anticipate that it will be on my list of best films of 2013.

With the people who created the film and the actors starring as alternative versions of themselves, they developed a film that had a large amount of room to really let loose and be a truly unrestricted adult comedy. That comedy that I’m speaking of is absolutely outstanding and serves up plenty of excellent “laugh out loud” material from beginning to end. Not only that, but the outstandingly high quality of comedy seen in This is the End is also original and incredibly unpredictable in many instances. There are things in this movie that I would have never expected to see in any movie and that’s always a plus if it’s done correctly.

In my opinion, this is what happens when you have guys who love movies making movies. I’m pretty sure they want to get paid for the services that they offer up, but they also haven’t forgotten the reasons behind why they’re where they are and what they do. Along with Goldberg, actor/director/writer Seth Rogan and the rest of the actors in This is the End appear to have some legitimate chemistry going on. Maybe that is what’s behind the great quality of this film?

Doing interviews on occasion with the various the actors and filmmakers out there, I always try to avoid asking questions about working with one another. The reason behind that is because you know that they’re guaranteed to say some positive stuff about them even if they don’t mean it. If I had the chance to ask these guys from This is the End those kinds of questions, I’d imagine their response would be what I would expect, but I’d also think they’d actually mean it.

Maybe we need more people in those situations? Maybe we need more people in Hollywood focusing on making good movies rather than making more money? I understand that filmmaking is a business and that money is and will always be an important aspect of it, but there needs to be more movies done with the risks that are taken in This is the End by people who are invested in making good movies. If that happened more often, Hollywood would probably find a bigger and better audience?

Score: 4/5

Rating: R

Directors:
Seth Rogan
Evan Goldberg

Cast:
Seth Rogan
Jonah Hill
James Franco
Craig Robinson
Danny McBride
Jay Burachel
Michael Cera
Emma Watson

Film Length: 107 minutes

Release Date: June 12, 2013

Distributor: Columbia Pictures

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