The opening of This is the End, now available on Blu-ray, is almost unbearable.
It confirms our worst fears about movies where actors play themselves. It’s a party at James Franco’s house, and we get to watch as countless celebrities play on their on screen and real life personalities. It’s not funny and it’s fully pretentious. Luckily, it ends with almost all of them dying and the world coming close to an end.
This is the End follows a group of friends (Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride) that all get stuck in Franco’s house when the apocalypse hits. The central conflict is that Jay is not really friends with anyone but Rogen and sees his old pal as a sell-out as he joins in with these out of touch Hollywood folk.
The movie is directed by Rogen and Evan Goldberg and it’s actually really unique. The duo apparently made the film on a low budget so as to get complete freedom from studio heads, and it pays off. Some scenes in This is the End are hilarious and will have you on the floor laughing harder than any other movie put out in the past couple of years.
However, as I said before, the film can border on pretentious with actors playing themselves. It can grow tiresome, like when the film derails and shows everybody making a cheap version of Pineapple Express 2 in Franco’s house due to boredom.
But almost all of the central actors left after Franco’s party gets crashed are good enough actors to create real characters with real troubles. The standouts are Craig Robinson (with a really surprising and touching performance), Franco (who does the best on playing with his on screen and real life persona) and Baruchel who really is the glue that keeps the whole film together.
It’s an impressive flick for being Rogen and Golberg’s directorial debut. It looks fantastic for being on such a low budget, and the script takes some wild and original turns that are both hilarious and refreshing.
Viewers will also be surprised by the depth of the movie. Mid-way through our protagonists turn to a surprising place: the Bible. This aspect to the film is treated with absolute respect and leads to some hilarious results as the characters try to redeem themselves for their awful and selfish lives. It’s a great thread of redemption that’s actually written really well.
Special features for the Blu-ray combo pack include deleted scenes, the original short film and a couple interesting making of features.
This is the End has its fair share of flaws, but it proves itself as more than an immature, throwaway feature. You’ll be surprised by how much effect it has on you.