This Is the End [Movie review by John Bruni]

This Is the End107 min., 2013
Directed by Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen
My rating: ★★★★
IMDBNetflix

A star-studded look at the end of the world from the guys who brought you SUPERBAD. Wait, really? That can’t be right.

* * *

All right, so this is technically a comedy, but you’ll be pretty hard pressed to find a laff riot that contains cannibalism, hell hounds, demon rape, possession, and the apocalypse. Yeah, no shit, all of that is in this movie.

And as for the star-studded cast, it’s unbelievable. Seth Rogan, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, and Danny McBride are just the tip of the iceberg. Look a bit deeper and you’ll see Michael Cera, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Paul Rudd, Aziz Ansari, Kevin Hart, Mindy Kaling, and just about everyone else. They even got Rhianna and Emma Watson on board, as well as one of the biggest action stars working today (more on him later).

What the fuck are all these people doing making a movie about the apocalypse? Better yet, what the fuck are all these people doing making a movie about the apocalypse in which THEY PLAY THEMSELVES?! That’s right, when we first start out, Rogan waits for his lifelong friend Baruchel to show up at the airport from Canada so they can get down to smoking a metric shit-ton of weed and watching some 3D TV. Rogan then mentions a party Franco is throwing at his mansion in an attempt to bring Baruchel deeper into the Hollywood fold, but Baruchel, who is disgusted by the whole scene, just wants to hang out with his friend. He gives in, and the party that unfolds is so extravagant and insane that one hopes that this part of the film is based on a true story.

And then the Rapture happens, just as the fires of Hell erupt onto the streets of LA. The funny thing is, everyone at Franco’s party don’t notice a thing. They just keep partying until a hellhole opens on his front lawn and starts swallowing a bunch of comedians. Before you know it, the only partiers who remain are Rogan, Baruchel, Robinson, Hill, and Franco. They frantically find ways to board up the house and put together all of their resources so they can start rationing. You know, the important things one must do when one is Left Behind.

But they don’t count on one other guy still being there: McBride, who spent the Rapture passed out in a bathtub. When he shows up, things just go fucking nuts. In fact, McBride is the MVP of this movie. His crudity and lunacy build up over the course of the movie to spoilerific proportions (hence the vagueness here). He shares the greatest scene in the movie with that action star mentioned above. For those who believe this particular actor has the personality of cardboard, this movie will change their minds.

Sure, there are terrifying things that happen. LA is reduced to a flaming wasteland where demonic creatures roam, eagerly looking for human beings to either eat or rape (maybe even both). How do some of the most recognized celebrities in Hollywood react?

By arguing with each other over a Milky Way bar (as well as bickering over their secret opinions and betrayals), getting hammered, doing a mountain of drugs, and making the sequel to PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, of course. Oh yeah, and giving McBride crap for being in YOUR HIGHNESS. How else would they react?

But it’s not all fun and games. There is the real danger of the end of the world beyond Franco’s front door, and they do have to deal with that eventually. Some of the main cast members are killed, they’re raped, and they’re harrowed by cannibals, flying monsters and even a giant demon with a cock that crushes a building. The stakes are very much real as they struggle to find a way to survive.

Yes, there’s a lot of so-so CGI, but there’s no way they could have made this movie with physical effects. Well, maybe if they wanted to just make a comedy to get high to, but no, they wanted to make a horror picture. Even though it’s funny as fuck, it’s still got a body count that would put most slasher flicks to shame.

The real stroke of genius is to have these guys play themselves. (And yes, Rogan does get jabbed over always playing himself. He also admits that most people find his laugh annoying.) One can only hope that this is how these guys really conduct themselves, especially the scene between Ansari and Hart. And then there’s the scene in the bathroom with Cera, two girls, and a juice pouch.

The ending might not be very satisfying if you’re not into their style of humor. Hell, even if you are, it might be pushing it a little. But by the time you get there you’ll probably be too drunk or stoned to care.

Make no mistake, this is a fuck-off movie. This was made strictly so these guys could hang out and pretend to work for a while. And yes, their primary concern is to make you laugh, but there’s some good gore here. Severed body parts, a stomped-on head, the graphic scene in which someone’s nose is bitten off, demon puke, and so on. They’ve got a serviceable horror movie here, too. Don’t waste time. See it now. The rapey conversation the guys  have about Emma Watson alone is worth the price of admission. And just wait until you see McBride in action, jizz and all.

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About John Bruni

John Bruni is the author of DONG OF FRANKENSTEIN (New Kink), POOR BASTARDS AND RICH FUCKS and TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE (StrangeHouse) and STRIP (Riot Forge). His short work has appeared in anthologies like A HACKED-UP HOLIDAY MASSACRE (Pill Hill), ZOMBIE! ZOMBIE! BRAIN BANG! (StrangeHouse) and the critically acclaimed VILE THINGS (Comet). He edited STRANGE SEX 3 for StrangeHouse, and he was the editor and publisher of TABARD INN: TALES OF QUESTIONABLE TASTE. Find out more at www.talesofquestionabletaste.com and www.talesofunspeakabletaste.blogspot.com.
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4 Responses to This Is the End [Movie review by John Bruni]

  1. Pingback: NEW MOVIE REVIEW: THIS IS THE END | Tabard Inn: Tales of Questionable Taste

  2. I really loved this movie! Excellent review 🙂

  3. Pingback: LAMBScores: Before Krypton's End | The Large Association of Movie Blogs

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