Directors: Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride
Review Written By: Michael Dalton (Prime Minister)
This is the End is the year’s funniest film and one of the year’s very best. While it may not always be the most tasteful or mature of films (There are jokes about drinking urine, ejaculation, exorcism, rape and cannibalism), it has one of the biggest hearts of any movie I’ve seen recently and is ultimately a euphoric tale of friendship and redemption. This film could have easily come off as a group of rich friends having a fun time at our expense; the whole film is essentially one big inside joke. However by the end of the film, you very much feel like one of the gang and in on the joke. However knowledge of these guys personality and work is crucial to truly appreciating the majority of this film’s humour. Seeing Michael Cera as a loud mouthed cokehead and Jonah Hill as a sycophantic psychopath, are even funnier if not only funny, if you are fully aware of who they are and what they’ve done. Therefore due to the craziness of the humour and the film as a whole, as well as this slight degree of exclusivity, This is the End isn’t for everyone.
The reliance some of this humour has on prior knowledge isn’t its only flaw. While the film and its stars are self depreciating and critical of themselves, their work and the Hollywood scene in general, it feels like the sort of gentle ribbing that would happen between close friends. Given the unique closeness of those who made the film to this scene and these characters, this film doesn’t have quite the edge or bite towards some of its material that an outsider may have brought. There also some gags that don’t quite land, a notable example being a scene in which some of the stars look back at previous actions, which could explain why they’ve been placed in their current situation. Also why the film doesn’t feel as self-indulgent as it could have done, the opening party scene does at times feel like a bit of a guest list and showing off as to who they’re friends with and could get in the movie, this is most applicable regarding the appearance of Rihanna.
Aside from these small flaws, This is the End is a consistently funny film. Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel play the standard characters they have played before but demonstrate a chemistry with one another that has not previously been explored cinematically. James Franco is clearly having a lot of fun in the role and with this, Spring Breakers and Oz this year, he continues to demonstrate how he is an actor who is up for and will throw himself into anything…except when it comes to hosting the Academy Awards (Something this film fails to mention) However it is Jonah Hill and Danny McBride who are the stars of this show. Jonah Hill is fantastic playing a covertly slimier version of himself. In one scene he prays and introduces himself to God by saying, “It’s me Jonah Hill…from Moneyball” one of many great moments in a performance that is arguably better than the one in that film, for which he received an Oscar nomination. McBride is a comedy actor I never found as funny as I wanted to but in this film he is given two great, applause worthy entrances and exits, as well as some of the film’s funniest lines.
Rogen and Goldberg direct the film tremendously for what is their directorial debut, never getting lost in the spectacle or the effects. It is inventively and impressively directed, with the running time flying by and a third act that contains some of the more absurd but amusing moments of the year. In fact I saw the film a second time and found it just as enjoyable, if not more so, with the film feeling five as opposed to one hundred and seven minutes long. It also has a decent degree of depth, with the film portraying attitudes towards Christianity and faith in a wittier, better and more memorable way than films which tackle that issue head on. What really won me over about this film though, was the ending. My favourite ending of the year so far, it put a massive smile on my face and ended the film at the exact right time and on a high. In a time of my life where I’ve finished school and am preparing for university, a time when friendships become tested, estranged and lost, it was heart warming to see a film about a friendship that survives the end of the world.
Movie Parliament Rating: MAJORITY GOVERNMENT
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,
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