This is the End (2013): a collection of some of the funniest actors in Hollywood star in a movie about how famous actors would deal with the Rapture.
Ok so I LOVE THIS MOVIE. This is one of my FAVORITE comedies of the last 5 or 10 years. Let's be real....this year has been an absolutely terrible year for comedy. From the too safe (We're the Millers) to the too far (2 Guns) to the downright insulting (Grown Ups 2) this year has had very few bright spots comedically speaking. But one movie has stood out above the rest. Well...two. But we aren't talking about The Heat here. This is the End is incredibly smart, it takes its premise very seriously, it's perfectly mixed between improv and writing, and....it is incredibly hilarious. I've said in previous reviews that as long as a comedy is funny, I can forgive it's other missteps, but when a movie funny AND well-written, it is 100x better of an experience. PLOT DOES MATTER PEOPLE. Even in comedies. And the plot of this is very engaging and at points borderline emotional. Honestly this movie's plot is better than a lot of movies I've seen.
Ok acting. As I said this movie is a who's-who of Hollywood, having an incredibly great lineup of stars. Ready? James Franco, Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Emma Watson, Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Rihanna, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kevin Hart, and Channing Tatum all show up here, and every single freaking one of them have something funny, smart, and memorable to contribute. On top of all of that, there is one of the craziest cameos I have ever seen at the end of the movie. A cameo that I didn't mention in that previous list. Incredible, I know.
Ok statement paragraph. So I'm using the word smart a lot. I know this is a weird word to use to describe a comedy, but it honestly does best describe This is the End. Smart comedies are by far the best type of comedy in existence, and when you stumble on one of them....you know you have something special. Ok I'm going to use movie examples to explain the use of this word. In Grown Ups 2, a lazy, disgusting excuse for a comedy, there is a scene where all the guys have a car wash to raise money or whatever the hell they are doing. Of course they have a sensual car wash scene where they are all spraying themselves and in short shorts, just like a typical bikini car wash scene but with dudes. In a smart movie, this scene could be a great satire about how girls are asked to do these crazy sexual scenes that objectify themselves in various movies, but instead it's just a really ugly gay panic scene. To the contrary there is a scene in This is the End where they take in Emma Watson and Jay Baruchel points out the fact that she is one female surrounded by six dudes. Obviously the conversation awkwardly leads into a sex/rape conversation, and while everyone gets upset at Jay for bringing it up, Emma obviously hears the worst part of the conversation. So, what does a smart movie do when they bring up rape as a joke? They have the female who is in the context of the conversation come out in a position of POWER and own all the guys having the conversation. It turns into one of the funniest points of the movie. Additionally this movie is smart because all the actors in it recognize that a persona has come to surround them because of their previous roles, and they fully embrace these personas. Danny McBride is a jerk, Jonah Hill is a kiss-ass, Jay Baruchel is the socially awkward guy, and so on.
To sum it up, this movie is absolutely brilliant in every way. It even takes its premise very seriously. There are definitely points of this movie that are borderline scary, as our Hollywood icons deal with things like demons throughout the movie. One of our stars even gets possessed, which leads to an obvious Exorcism reference. This is probably the laziest joke/scene of the whole movie, but the possessed actor definitely keeps even this lazy moment funny. Overall, this is a comedy that I will remember for a long time, one which I will not mind seeing again and again.
The Critique: A smart, serious, and (of course) hilarious take on how Hollywood would deal with the Rapture. One of the best comedies of recent memory.
The Recommendation: KEEP OUT OF THE REACH OF CHILDREN. This movie is EXTREMELY vulgar. And, if that isn't enough to discourage younger audiences from watching, it would definitely be too scary for younger viewers. 17-40 for sure. This movie will also be too vulgar for the older crowd too.
The Verdict: 9/10 Awesome
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