THIS IS THE END
Running Time: 107 mins.
Premise: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride (all playing themselves) hole up in Franco's house while the apocalypse rages on outside .
Behind-the-Scenes: Rogen and his frequent writing collaborator, Evan Goldberg, wrote the script and make their co-directing debut here.
The Good: If you're a fan of meta comedy, with lots of in-jokes and riffs on the actors' established personalities, then you'll enjoy this movie. There are plenty of laughs to be had, particularly in the opening party sequence. The sheer number of cameos in this sequence is staggering and awesome, but it's Michael Cera who just kills, playing a coked-out, douchebag version of himself. Seriously, Cera's 5 minutes of screen time are worth the price of admission alone. And, even if the rest of the movie never quite matches those comedy highs, there are plenty of stand-out bits. My favorites include Franco (who is fantastic in this) and McBride (ditto) arguing about ejaculating all over the house, and the group getting into a rape discussion outside Emma Watson's door. Yup, it's that kind of movie. Even when it's not going for jokes, This Is The End is interesting and entertaining, with some well-staged action.
The Bad: It runs about 15 minutes too long, and seems to wear out its premise a bit before that. Though I laughed a great deal, I walked out wishing it had been funnier and more clever in spots. Too bad all of those celebrity cameos at the beginning weren't spread throughout, as the dynamics between the six core members of the group grow old and could have benefited from some new blood as the film progressed.
Should You See It?: Yes. Comedy-wise, it's your best bet in theaters right now, and miles better than competition like Hangover Part III or The Internship.
Star Rating: ***1/2 out of 5 stars.
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