“Hermione just stole all of our sh*t!”
It’s the end of the world. You converge at a massive housewarming party in L.A. hosted by none other than James Franco. And there, you do which of the following:
A.) Drink massive amounts of alcohol
B.) Consume inordinate amounts of illegal drugs
C.) Slap Rhianna’s backside
D.) Trip into a football-field-sized sinkhole and fall into the fiery pits of Hell
E.) All of the above
If you answered “E.) All of the above”, you would befall the same fate as about 90% of the mostly celebrity-packed cast of characters from director Evan Goldberg‘s apocalyptic comedy, This Is the End.
As Jay Baruchel returns to L.A. to spend the weekend with his longtime BFF, Seth Rogen, it’s clear the two are struggling to reconnect. After all, Jay hates L.A. and Jay hates Seth’s new friends. I mean, what’s to like about Jonah Hill, James Franco, and Danny McBride? (That’s sarcasm, people – who can hate Jonah Hill and James Franco? Danny McBride, on the other hand…)
They spend the better part of a day smoking joints, playing video games, and eating Carl’s Jr. – even though Seth swears he’s off the gluten. The “gluten” being a mysterious entity to Rogen, that, when pressed, he admits he has no idea what it really is. It’s like calories and alcohol, right? I mean, gluten is a bucket term for everything that’s bad for you…right? This early banter between Baruchel and Rogen helps set the tone for the larger events about to unfold.
After being coerced into going to James Franco’s housewarming party, everything comes off the rails. Literally. It’s the rapture, people, and those who are righteous and good are getting sucked up into a beautiful blue light. At first, no one wants to believe it. They blame it on earthquakes and natural disasters. I mean, why wouldn’t Franco, Rogen, Craig (“take your panties off”) Robinson, and Baruchel get left behind? Not to mention Jonah Hill, who spends the first half of the movie being the nicest. person. on. the. planet. All in an attempt to win Jay’s friendship.
But, as the days roll on and food supplies dwindle, the group is forced to face facts. No one’s coming to save their celebrity a**es and for all they know, they could be the last people on Earth. Fires rage outside. There are cannibals. There are demons – yes, I said demons – walking around, eating people who venture outside. If they’re going to make it, it’s going to be through a sacrifice that proves they are worthy to enter Heaven.
I know what some of you are thinking. Where’s the humor in a film about the end of days? Strangely, it’s everywhere. Although rampant with humor best befitting teenage boys (think locker room, think genitalia, think body fluids), there are also some true, comedic nuggets that had most of the very diverse audience laughing. There is an underlying theme of self-deprecation that, I think, helps draw the audience in so they can relate and connect to a cast comprised mostly of celebrities playing themselves.
This Is the End enjoys a nearly non-stop energy that, even in its more introspective moments, manages to keep you engaged in what’s going on. A rarity for most films of this type, making it a more well-rounded piece than I would have imagined. By which I mean, I came out of This Is the End feeling entertained. Imagine! I don’t understand why this concept is such a novelty, but it definitely needs to be celebrated when it happens.
A notable performance by Emma Watson is sure to have people talking. The young actress, made famous by her role as Hermione in theHarry Potter series, is all grown up. And, by the way she can swing an ax, I don’t think anyone needs to worry about her getting taken advantage of anytime soon.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t toss out a note of mild warning – This Is the End is full of penises. There. I said it. And you know what? I feel better. I’ve been keeping that inside since I saw the film. I mean, I think it’s important to note because you know those films you end up watching with family members? Don’t make this one of them. This is definitely a film for you and your friends, but don’t go into it thinking it’s going to give you a solid idea of how to handle the end of the world. The cast of characters in this film flail from beginning to end. If they didn’t, I guarantee it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.
Emma Watson, B-roll:
Official Site: This Is the End
On Twitter: @ThisIsTheEnd