CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

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: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill
  • Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
  • Writer: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
  • Producer: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
  • 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 Babadook

    The Babadook

    Widowed mum Amelia (Essie Davis) finds caring for her wayward child Samuel (Noah Wiseman) a tall order. But shes more or less coping until a scary picture book about the mysterious Babadook starts to haunt this single parent family

  • Film4 This Is Where I Leave You

    This Is Where I Leave You

    Shortly after discovering his wifes infidelity, Judd (Jason Bateman) learns of the death of his father. Forced to return to his childhood home to spend a week with his mother, four siblings and his extended family, Judd tries to take stock of his life.

  • Film4 Beasts of the Southern Wild

    Beasts Of The Southern Wild on Film4

    Quvenzhané Wallis stars in an Oscar-nominated role as the six year-old Hushpuppy in Benh Zeitlin's magical realist drama on Film4

  • Film4 Killer Joe

    Killer Joe on Film4

    Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch and Juno Temple star in William Friedkin's noir thriller on Film4

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Joe Cunningham's 11 recommendations for LFF 14

    Unfortunately I haven¿t been jet setting around the world this year to the various exciting international film festivals, but that¿s what makes the London Film Festival¿s compilation approach to progr

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Michael Leader's 11 recommendations for LFF 2014

    One of the best things about the London Film Festival¿s smorgasbord approach to programming is that, amongst the world premieres and gala screenings, there¿s an eclectic collection of exciting films o

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

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

or Register

Tweets @Film4

  • RT @GuyLodge: Massive cheers to the @GothamAwards for handing Best Picture and Actress nods to UNDER THE SKIN. Follow their lead, everyone.

  • @AlexRaskovic001 And as for SAS films... There aren't many are, there? Have you seen The One That Got Away (directed by Paul Greengrass)?

  • @AlexRaskovic001 We're screening a bunch of films by Korean director Hong Sang-Soo from Sunday 2nd, all of which haven't been on TV before.

  • @CarlPearce666 Not a fan of westerns or war films, then? How about 60s caper Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines tomorrow?

  • Horror fans! @Film4FrightFest is coming to Edinburgh next weekend for a gory all-nighter at @CameoCinema on Sat 1st: http://t.co/agCEVHyDiD

Share