On the surface I should hate This Is The End, a stoner apocalypse comedy about a group of actors all playing themselves trying to ride it out. It shouldn't work but it does, This Is The End is a really funny film because of just how insane everything gets and how far the film takes the premise of all the actors stuck together.
The plot of the film is incredibly simply, a group of actors including Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco and Jonah Hill, are at a party at Franco's house and the apocalypse happens. The way the film works though is that the film goes all out in showing the apocalypse and all the actors aren't necessarily playing themselves, rather they are playing the exaggerated stereotypes of their characters, i.e. James Franco as a pretentious art snob and Jonah Hill as the nicest person on the planet. The film shows just how useless all these people would be in an actual apocalypse as they pretend to be tough instead of actually being tough. A lot of humour is also derived from the clash of personalities and the things all the people do to pass the time, including making a sequel to Pineapple Express. However, all of this works because the film doesn't shy away from the apocalyptic elements in the film. You see everything you can think of to do with the apocalypse and then some and the way all of these actors clash with this works incredibly well. These elements are also helped by great writing and directing by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. along with great special effects. Of course, being a comedy, some of the jokes don't work as well as others and when a joke dies, it really dies. Since a lot of the humour comes from how unexpected a lot of the stuff is, I also don't know if the film will hold up in the future.
The acting meanwhile is on top form. Rogen and Baruchel play off of each other really well, Baruchel showing how uncomfortable he is throughout the whole film and his disbelief over everything and Rogen is just incredibly likable throughout. James Franco is clearly having a lot of fun in his role and gets a lot of the best lines in the film, just going for broke with how crazy his character is. Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson get some good laughs, most of it at the end of the film so I won't go into much detail. The weak link in the main cast is Danny McBride who is incredibly annoying for most of the film and a lot of the jokes that die centre around McBride.
There are also a lot of cameos in the film from other actors, ranging from Jason Segel to Christopher Mintz-Plasse to Paul Rudd. There are 2 cameos of note though that I can talk about (there's a third near the end of the film that I want to talk about but doing so would spoil the surprise). The first is Emma Watson who is great in her first appearance as a pretty stuck-up person but is even better in her second appearance as an axe-wielding maniac trying to stay alive. The other one is Michael Cera who is hilarious as a drug addicted, sleazy, absolutely batshit insane psycho and the way he plays off all of the other actors, especially a little bit with Christopher Mintz-Plasse is a lot of fun to watch.
Overall, This Is The End is a really funny film. I'm not sure that a lot of the humour will hold up in the future, but what's funny is funny and This Is The End is most definitely funny. The way all the actors play off each other and just go all in for the insanity of the film is brilliant and a premise that I thought would never work has created one of the funniest films I've seen recently and the only reason that this won't be the best apocalypse comedy of the year is because The World's End is out next week.
My Rating: 4/5