Fine friends at the end


‘THIS is the End’ is almost certainly not the end of Seth Rogen and director buddy Evan Goldberg’s foray into what can only be described as ‘we’ll make movies the way we like, with whoever we like, and we don’t care if nobody likes it’ comedies.
‘Knocked Up’, ‘Superbad’, ‘Pineapple Express’ and ‘Funny People’ were all very much cut from the same cloth, with the first two proving to be rare examples of actual laugh-out-loud comedies. They’re all irreverent, brash and somewhat controversial.
But they’re all completely unpretentious. It’s obvious even from the previews that what you’re seeing is absolutely what you’ll get in the finished product. These films don’t feature any jaw-dropping plot twists, stunning scenery, or memorable soundtracks.
Nothing like it. In fact, when considering the storylines on their own, they make about as little sense as any movie could possibly make. But they are – for Rogen, Goldberg and their entourage of familiar buddies – obviously as fun to make as they are for the audience to watch.
This is the End doesn’t even have any characters, let alone any kind of real plot. It’s basically just 107 minutes of Rogen, Jonah Hill (Superbad), Craig Robinson (Hot Tub Time Machine, The Office), James Franco (Pineapple Express, 127 Hours), Danny McBride (Pineapple Express, Eastbound and Down) and Jay Baruchel (Knocked Up, She’s Out of My League) playing themselves in a loosely Apocalypse-based chucklefest.
The movie itself is set in Hollywood, in what is portrayed as Franco’s house, and features an endless list of appearances by Hollywood’s young A-List. Goldberg makes it his mission to kill off as many of them as possible – many in as hilariously as possible (see Michael Cera and Aziz Ansari) – leaving a ragtag core group behind for the final few scenes.
Hill and cocaine-snorting badass Cera are the two surefire standouts, but McBride, Robinson and Emma Watson (yes, THAT Emma Watson) also impress.
This isn’t perfect – far from it. Rihanna’s cameo only lasts for a couple of scenes, but it’s at least three too many; and the last 20 minutes are pure ridiculousness, and not in a good way. But the preceding 87 are almost laugh-a-minute. The only real mistake a viewer can make when sitting down to watch this movie is assuming it’s trying to be more than it is. Your first instincts are right – trust them. It’s just funny.
– Russell Bennett