Thursday, June 6, 2013
[Guest Review] David Castillo’s Review of THIS IS THE END
Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel star as themselves along with Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson in this end-of-days comedy that finds the actors hiding out with James Franco in his apartment as the apocalypse decimates L.A. outside. Featuring cameos by Jason Segel and Emma Watson, the Sony Pictures film features the directing debuts of Rogen and frequent collaborator Evan Goldberg. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
Release Date: Jun 12, 2013
Rated R for crude and Sexual Content, Brief Graphic Nudity, Drug Use, Pervasive Language and Some Violence
Runtime: 1 hr. 47 min.
Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Cast: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson
Haven't we seen this already a year ago, ironically also with Jonah Hill, written by the same duo (Rogan/Goldberg) who gave us "The Watch"? That’s what I thought when the first trailer hit the internet the day before the supposed Mayan apocalypse last December. While "The Watch" was somewhat a disappointment, this is by no means comparable.
The first 20 minutes of the movie IS the 2 red band trailers, which works perfectly since its gets those scenes out of the way and we can get to the central plot of the movie. The audience’s main point of view is Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogan with the rest of the assembled stars supporting. While we will probably never know how these stars are genuinely, they play their parts superbly well; giving us the feeling we know them personally.
The tough part of doing a review for this movie like this is not giving away too much while critiquing it, so I’ll break down the performances. Sometimes having a huge all star cast can make it difficult to balance, here I have no complaints. Jay Baruchel, to me, is the anti-Michael Cera, yeah, he plays the same roles but is always likeable. His leading role in “She’s Out of My League” was overlooked by most audiences and hasn’t really been in any major movies since. Some have even forgotten his brilliant performance in the equally star studded “Tropic Thunder”. Seth Rogan, is being Seth, but his input in the script allows him to take some genius jabs at himself (“where was that in The Green Hornet”). Franco is better known for his dramatic roles in Spiderman, Milk, and 127 Hours but he’s shown he can be funny in comedies like Pineapple Express and Your Highness. Here he does a great job as the party’s host, believably playing his as incredibly hard headed. Danny McBride does what he does so well, being a jackass. McBride pulls it off hilariously well, so much so that you’ll want to kick his ass. McBride and Franco share one of the best scenes in the movie. It’s so good that some of it had to be improvised, it was that good. Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson do take a backseat in supporting roles but they still do solid work.
This is The End currently has Rotten Tomato rating of 93%, that’s before the mass media reviews are be published before next week’s release. When it’s all said and done, I’d predict it’ll end up in the high 70s/low 80s%.
Did it live up to my expectations? To be honest, they were sky high after the red band trailers and while it didn’t reach those heights it’s still a VERY good movie.
A minor complaint I had with the film was some slow pacing primarily, some sections in the middle but that’s it.
Of course, this movie isn’t going to be for everybody but if you liked some of Judd Apatow’s hits like Knocked Up, Superbad or Pineapple Express, then you’ll have a blast with this.
2013 hasn’t been a great year for comedies with Movie 43, The Haunted House, Scary Movie 5, 21 & Over, and The Hangover 3, This is the End is easily the best comedy of 2013 and worth the watch if you’re a fan of the cast’s previous work.
It’s worth mentioning that this has THE most epic cameo in the past 5 years, period! Hopefully nobody spoils it for you!
4 out of 5 stars
Easter Egg (Extra Tidbit)
Since this was released by Colombia Pictures, they were limited on what previous work can be mentioned from each star. There’s no references to the highly successful Universal Studio films Knocked Up, Superbad, Jason Segal’s work on How I Met Your Mother or Craig Robinson’s work on The Office.
If you want to see more of Jay Baruchel’s recent work, check out his independently written film “Goon” starring Sean William Scott., it’s on Netflix Instant Stream.