Movie Review: This is the End offends but is hysterical
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Writers: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson
Synopsis: While attending a party at James Franco’s house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.
Rogen and Goldberg created one heck of a comedy with some of the most interesting and hilarious moments I’ve seen in recent comedies. The aesthetic they created at the beginning is really unique and a lot of fun. You see the characters as themselves, and while we don’t know if that’s really how they are in real life, you get the sense that you’re seeing them in the real world and it’s believable (for the most part). As the story unfolds, Rogen and Goldberg’s camera work isn’t very original but it’s used in such a way that brings a laugh in itself. Their music choices are used the same way which is one of the better parts of the whole movie. The songs they chose and the timing to use them was perfect and hysterical. The performances are exactly what you’d want in a film like this, especially given the chemistry these guys have. The visuals aren’t the greatest at times but it’s intentional and meant to make you laugh. That being said, there is actually some really good CGI used in this film which you don’t get in many comedies. Last year’s, Ted, is the only other exception to this which used it’s main character as a CGI character. Perhaps my favorite part is the use of the main characters movies they’ve been in before and how they use them to make fun of each other. The decision to spotlight them and utilize it to make fun of themselves is amazing and fun to see. Overall, the laughs are often and the drama is felt which puts this comedy up at the top of the list for this year and will make it very difficult to beat.
The script to this film is pretty incredible. I’m guessing a descent chunk of this was ad libbed which may take away from the grade but not knowing which parts were made up and which parts were scripted means that I grade it on that assumption. The dialogue here is incredibly offensive at times but very funny all the way throughout. As I mentioned, the characters don’t take themselves serious at all and they make fun of each other and themselves all the way throughout. What surprised me though is that the story itself, does take itself serious with some pretty awesome (and did I say surprising) themes. The story comes down to friendship and relationships and how to deal with conflict when tension arrives. It also deals with being a good person and the possible consequences of thinking only about yourself. Those themes are sometimes dramatic, while still being funny, but definitely on the surface and ultimately become the movie’s conclusion. The environment in which that theme takes place though can be very offensive depending on your beliefs which does bring it down a little bit for me. However if you can get past that aesthetic, the friendship and human spirit themes are good and you don’t want to miss those because of any offensive material. The story is well written, thrilling for a good part of the film and of course, extremely funny. Easily the best comedy of the year so far.
The performances are interesting to me in this film. You have actors playing themselves in a movie that has some pretty crazy circumstances. Does the way they act in the film as themselves portray how they are in real life? Most likely not given the nature of where the film goes, but it’s still an interesting question. Everyone does an amazing job and deliver the lines perfectly which creates a very fun environment, even as the world around them goes to hell (literally). There is one scene particularly between James Franco and Danny McBride that is going to be offensive to some but because of the delivery and how well written it is, make it perhaps the funniest scene in the film. And you get things like that throughout the movie that easily puts this to the top. There are a ton of cameos in this film as well which makes the film even more believable (at least at the beginning) that also adds a ton to the movie’s first 20 minutes. The hyperbole in both the script and the performances are exactly what you need here.
Henry Jackman anyone? Man, is this guy on fire right now and he does it again. I’ve been on the Jackman bandwagon for quite a while now and for a comedy film, you don’t expect a big score. That being said, this isn’t just a comedy. There’s lots of action and thriller-like moments that demands a good score which Jackman brings. His score adds the “scary” moments you need while bringing the right comedic and light tones you also need to make it fun. His score, along with the amazing soundtrack included with this movie, makes this soundtrack one of my favorite’s for the whole year so far.