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It's the end of the world as they know it, but that doesn't stop Franco, Rogen, McBride, and Baruchel from taking a few bong rips and hanging out....
Sony / 107 Minutes / 2013 / Rated R / Street Date: October 1, 2013
Seth Rogen shouldn’t be a movie star. Regardless of the guy’s innate comic talents, in any logical capacity, this guy isn’t the kind of guy who should be making millions of dollars a picture and having his face up on billboards. The meta twist, though, is that Rogen himself (as well as many of his contemporaries in the same boat) is in on the joke: with movies like This Is the End, Rogen and company don’t want to just make a raucous comedy – they want to bring us into the inner circle.
It’s navel-gazing, pure and simple, but there’s a deliriously weird bent around every corner of This Is the End, and it makes for fascinatingly giggly entertainment. It goes without saying that if the idea of spending an hour and a half with funhouse autobiographical versions of Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, and Michael Cera doesn’t intrigue you, it’s a good idea to run not walk away from this one, but viewers intrigued by the concept won’t find a more bizarrely unique blockbuster comedy anywhere nearby.
The setup is this: Rogen and his buddy Jay Baruchel head off to a convenience store to get some munchies to bring back to a celebrity-heavy party (Cera, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, et al) and find themselves witnesses to the end of days. The rapture lifts a bunch of folks into heaven, but the poor souls left behind find themselves desperate, freaked-out, and more than a little confused as to how their box office appeal is going to help them live through this terrifying new world.
This Is the Endprobably isn’t the best comedy of calendar year 2013, but it’s always rewarding to see Hollywood make fun of itself in snarky, self-deprecating ways. These guys seem to be having a blast just palling around with one another, and for audiences on their wavelength, it’s a brief opportunity to join in on the party. And hell, if Rogen can be a marquee name, any of the rest of us might as well be, too…