The End – with no friends

This is The End (MA)
Starring: Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, James Franco, Jonah Hill

IT’S an edgy horror-comedy that should have worked – but it turns out to be almost walk-out bad.
Sadly, this soufflé doesn’t quite rise – and yet, all the ingredients are there.
Maybe it’s the malign presence of Seth Rogen, whose particular brand of slacker stonerdom seems to be the kiss of death for so many movies at the moment. Rogen has a long way to go to atone for The Green Hornet.
This is The End assembles some of the funniest young brat pack characters in Hollywood – and the plot twist has them playing themselves.
The team, including a couple of little-known sacrificial non-entities, attends a house-warming party at James Franco’s house in Los Angeles.
The Apocalypse strikes – with the worthy lifted up to heaven, while the damned remain on Earth in a living hell of fire, brimstone, demons, zombies and the like.
Much pettiness and irrelevancy ensues – it seems a big problem might be the script, with many ideas not fully explored. There’s an ad lib feel about the thing – and it doesn’t work.
Franco is about the only good thing in the film, and his raised eyebrow is the only funny thing on offer. Even Jonah Hill turning into a zombie – a hugely appealing idea – just doesn’t fly.
There are a couple of chortles, but no laugh-out-loud moments.
If you’re in need of a laugh, ditch this dirge and go and see The Heat. Thank me later.
– Jason Beck