Written and directed by Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, this comes as no surprise, with previous writing credits including the hit comedies Superbad and Pineapple Express and the disappointingly unfunny The Green Hornet and The Watch.
Starring members of Rogan and Goldberg’s favoured acting team, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and Rogan play unpleasant versions of themselves caught up in an end of the world scenario that sees Hollywood swallowed up by raging flames. Rogan’s old friend Jay Baruchel finds himself barricaded inside James Franco’s bleak LA mansion with this obnoxious group of celebs, who spend the largest part of the apocalypse taking drugs and arguing about a dirty magazine before moving on to the more essential problem of thirst.
The comedic gems of This Is The End see the celebrities take the mickey out of their LA lifestyles and movie back catalogues - Jonah Hill’s recent success in Moneyball and Rogan’s heavily criticised, the Green Hornet get a good share of the gags. Fans of Pineapple Express will find a home video version of Pineapple Express 2 hits the spot as Jonah Hill takes on the role of Woody Harrelson.
This Is The End is packed with surprise cameos, some hilarious, some shocking in their extreme take on the celebrities. Regrettably the sharp comedy meets with vulgar and stomach-churning gags. Bloody deaths - the celebs kick around a human head in one nauseating gag - fall short of comedy while coarse dialogue drags on until it long after it stops being funny. The celebs become more detestable as the film approaches its conclusion and the clever gags diminish as the end of the world scenario escalates to ridiculous levels.
Crammed with Hollywood’s familiar apocalypse catastrophes, from sinkholes to demonic monsters, This Is The End plays out as a joke on the genre. Yet given its medley of disastrous events, the plot comes together surprisingly well, offering a satisfying, if vulgar, resolution.
When it focusses on Hollywood in-jokes, This Is The End is very funny and the film’s cast prove adept at taking the mickey out of themselves, with Jonah Hill stealing the show. Yet This Is The End is bulked out with vulgar, gross-out gags that makes this latest offering from Rogan and Goldberg ultimately hit and miss.
Running Time: 107 minutes