Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Comedy, Horror
  • 2013
  • 107 mins

This Is The End

This Is The End

Synopsis

The Apocalypse strikes right in the middle of an A-list party at James Franco’s luxury Hollywood pad. Can Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and a motley crew of other surviving actors conquer their egos long enough to make it through Judgement Day unscathed? Written, directed and produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, adapted from their 2007 short Jay and Seth Versus The Apocalypse.

About

When Hollywood actors send themselves up on-screen, it’s usually in a fleeting cameo role, and more often than not comes across as the ultimate in self-indulgence. So the prospect of an entire movie’s worth of actors playing inflated versions of themselves might sound like a vanity project so unbearably self-absorbed that even Narcissus would have turned it down. Add to that a cast as frequently reviled as they are acclaimed for their tasteless, juvenile brand of humour, and you’ve got the makings of the filthiest sort of smug-fest. Or so I thought before I watched This Is The End – and laughed so hard I almost wet myself.

The premise is simple: a bunch of Hollywood stars – Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride, all sort of playing themselves – find themselves holed up in Franco’s fortress-like luxury villa after the first wave of the Apocalypse wipes out most of their famous friends (most notably Rihanna and Michael Cera, on hilarious form as a coked-up brattish version of himself). But as Judgement Day looms, the clashing egos inside the house begin to prove more destructive than the fire and brimstone outside.

Nearly all the actors in this movie have come up through the Judd Apatow school of comedy (see Knocked Up, Superbad, Pineapple Express, Freaks And Geeks etc.), so there’s no shortage of dick jokes, weed jokes, and extended improvisations about cum. If that ilk of humour tickles your fancy, you’ll be on-board right from the start. But if it doesn’t, watch on and you’ll soon discover there are so many other ways to enjoy this movie.

For a start, there’s the highly convincing relationship between Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel, which grounds the rest of the film. Jay is Seth’s last tie to his “shitty, weird Canadian life” and the source of much friction between Seth and his new, Californian clique. Then there’s the surprisingly gory horror side to the comedy, which includes an impromptu game of severed head football. But by far the most intriguing element of this movie is its biting satire on celebrity. The privilege and pretentiousness of Hollywood are attacked with a gloves-off directness rarely seen since 1952’s The Bad And The Beautiful. Why, for example, do none of the stars at James Franco’s party get beamed up into Heaven, as many others have? Could it be that, rich and famous as they are, they just aren’t “awesome” enough to make it through the pearly gates?

It’s true that some scenes do teeter on the brink of self-indulgence. A lot of the dialogue was improvised, and the script would have been a lot tighter – and funnier – in places if directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldsmith had used a firmer hand to rein their actor buddies in. That said, the fact that everybody on-set genuinely seems to be having a good time is part of the movie’s charm, and there’s enough heart and laugh-out-loud hilarity that it’s easy to overlook any flaws.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel
  • Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
  • Writer: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
  • Producer: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
  • Photographer: Brandon Trost
  • Composer: Henry Jackman

In a nutshell

Loads funnier – and smarter – than it sounds on paper, and well worth watching for the unflinching Hollywood satire, even if you’re sick of Apatow-esque bromantic comedies.

by Rebecca Davies

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 The Sitter

    The Sitter

    Jonah Hill stars as a slacker who's forced to fill in as a babysitter for a night, but the kids he's looking after prove more than he can handle when he takes them on a crime-filled trip through NYC

  • Film4 Amy

    Amy

    Senna director Asif Kapadia tells the story of Amy Winehouse in her own words with the use of unseen archive footage and previously unheard tracks

  • Film4 Evil Dead

    Saturday Night Shocks on Film4

    Horror, mystery and suspense stake its claim on the weekend. A new season of Saturday Night Shocks comes to Film4.

  • Film4 Bridesmaids

    Comedy Season 2015 on Film4

    Eight nights of contemporary comedy hits, including first plays of Cuban Fury, American Reunion, The Sitter, and the network premiere of 21 & Over, on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Top pop moments from Cannes 2015

    Cannes is always a great place to see and hear brilliant pop music, often divorced from its usual context, and 2015 has been no different. Here's my personal playlist of top pop moments from the Compe

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Critics' Week: Day Seven - Krisha

    Catherine Bray adds to a growing chorus of acclaim for Trey Edward Shults' Krisha, a feature film backed on Kickstarter to the tune of  $14,260, which went on to win the Grand Jury Award at SXSW Some

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • Our late night highlight @ 1.10am is Oscar-winning boxing drama The Fighter, starring Mark Wahlberg & Christian Bale. http://t.co/65l7U46bZF

  • "You don't want to be trapped inside with me, sunshine." At 11.20pm, Tom Hardy stars in behind-bars biopic Bronson. https://t.co/FqjYIjCygb

  • New season alert! From June 3rd, 8 nights of comedy inc. American Reunion, 21 & Over and more: http://t.co/0WWVZ0weqo http://t.co/sJXLOI5DVT

  • The #Film4SummerScreen musicals vote closes at midnight! Which classic film will win? http://t.co/1lkQf1l5IW http://t.co/PrVsCF43tT

  • "Give me a minute, I'm good. Give me an hour, I'm great. Give me six months, I'm unbeatable." At 9pm, The A-Team. http://t.co/HwXOGQFjzG

Share