THIS IS THE END
While attending a party at James Franco's house, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Emma Watson, and many other celebrities are faced with the apocalypse.
Review by Louise Keller:
Fans of Seth Rogan, James Franco, Jonah Hill and the rest of the gang are the target market for this crude, rowdy, self-indulgent buddy-movie mash-up travesty about the end of the world, in which smoking weed, ejaculation jokes, exorcism and a decapitated head kicked around like a soccer ball are par for the course. In this, Rogan's directing debut with his writing partner Evan Goldberg, the conceit allows the actors and their characters to be one - that is for the actors to play themselves.
There are in-jokes and references to previous film roles as the six friends go through their paces in this mock-horror, feature-creature, and apocalyptic spoof with gross out. It's not my bag, but there is no denying the film generates an essence of good will through the craziness and interaction between the cast, who are clearly having a fun time as they seemingly improvise preposterous scenarios.
The film begins at the airport, when Jay Baruchel arrives in LA to stay with his buddy Seth Rogan. Baruchel is full of insecurities and less than enthusiastic to head over to James Franco's flash new pad for a party, but by the time they smoke some weed, they are armed and ready.
The sequence in which the apocalyptic moment arrives is amusing and takes place in a convenience store. But most of the action is in Franco's mansion which is filled with questionable art installations including a giant, patterned penis. Michael Cera is hilarious and totally over the top as one of the party guests whose obsession with sex is crudely expressed. Emma Watson is also memorable - especially when yielding an axe. A bare-bottomed Channing Tatum appears in a cameo of disrepute.
With the Hollywood Hills in flames, body parts flying, water drunk from martini glasses and Danny McBride wearing a T-shirt with the words 'Take yo Panties Off', it's an incongruous mix as beams of blue light flash from the sky to suck good-doers to heaven. Redemption is clearly wanting for those remaining.
There are some funny concepts and I did chuckle at a couple of bad-taste jokes. I also cringed. Then the alien creatures appear, one of which looks as thought it has escaped from a Chinese New Year parade. The giant molten man with writhing asps and fiery penis is a great creation. There's a lot of bad language, jingoistic dialogue and the calling of 'man' and 'dude'. Rogan and Goldberg seemed to have captured the tone they were after and full marks to the cast for playing it for real 100% of the time.
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THIS IS THE END (MA15+)
CAST: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Emma Watson, Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Mandy Kaling
PRODUCER: Evan Goldberg, Lawrence Grey, Seth Rogen, James Weaver
DIRECTOR: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
SCRIPT: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg,
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Brendon Trost
EDITOR: Zene Baker
MUSIC: Henry Jackman
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Chris L. Spellman
RUNNING TIME: 107 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Sony
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 18, 2013 (sneaks July 12-14)
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
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on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.