There’s one scene in This Is the End, where James Franco and Danny McBride arguing about masturbating, when I snorted from laughing so hard.
Even though it’s embarrassing, it’s been a long time since I’ve literally laughed out loud at the movies. Actually, it’s been a long time since there’s been a laugh-out-loud comedy at all – the last one was probably The Hangover.
This Is the End is so utterly ridiculous and completely insane that it’s borderline genius. Similar to the best bits of Anchorman, there are moments here when you’re thinking “What the fuck is going on?”, but due to the likeability of the actors involved and the fact that they’re just having fun with it, makes it you laugh even more.
This film is like an inside joke with some of Hollywood’s biggest actors, and while watching it you feel like you’re in on the gag. It’s the same kind of thing you would make with your own friends at home, and I guess that’s the film’s biggest appeal.
And just like Anchorman, it’s also really hard to pick your favourite actor or favourite line, because there’s just too many to choose from. Each one of them brings their own spin on… themselves, with Franco, McBride, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel adopting fictional and overly-exaggerated personas.
Even cameo stars take the piss out of themselves, and there is a boat-load of cameos. Nearly all members of the Apatow family are accounted for, with Jason Segel, Mindy Kaling, Paul Rudd, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Aziz Ansari and Michael Cera (who is fucking hilarious), but then there’s some big names like Emma Watson, popstar Rihanna and Channing Tatum showing a knack for comedy.
The concept originally started as a short film, also written by Rogen and Evan Goldberg, called Jay and Seth versus the Apocolypse. Jay and Seth remain the main characters here, which is why they’re basically “the straight guys” in amidst all the weird shit that’s going on.
James Franco is making me hate him less and less these days, to the point he’s actually one of the best things about this film. I think it’s just all the other self-absorbed, artsy crap that makes me want to punch him in his smug face. If he stuck to stoner comedies like this and Pineapple Express I would probably love him.
As for the rest of them, this just made me like ’em even more. Jonah Hill is almost cringe-worthy as an over-the-top phony, who at one point starts a prayer with “Dear God, it’s me Jonah Hill… from Moneyball”, Craig Robinson has some of the best one-liners, like “I’d be pretty bummed if I don’t at least get a bight of the Milky Way”, and even though Danny McBride is playing his usual selfish-arsehole role, he has never been better.
And even though it sounds stupid, the only thing that will turn some people off is the whole “apocalypse” thing – with all the demons and what-not. You could tell from the start that it was going to get a bit crazy toward the end, but I think they rescued it with a bizarre ending that seems perfectly fitting.
It’s early in the race, especially with Anchorman 2 and The World’s End still to come, but so far this is front-runner for comedy of the year. Definitely worth watching.