Review: This is the End

In which I ask myself serious questions about a comedy movie. This is a spoiler-free review.

What’s it about?

It’s an adult comedy starring the comedians known primarily for their Apatow-branded films: Seth Rogen, James Franco, et al. The twist is – wait for it – They’re all playing themselves. The film focuses primarily on the real-life relationship between Seth Rogen and his friend Jay Baruchel (of How to Train Your Dragon and Tropic Thunder), and what happens when their evening is interrupted by an unexpected catastrophe.

What was good?

  • The cameos are, to put it mildly, the best part of the film. Many comedy actors appear, playing themselves, although one in particular steals the show early in the film.
  • The chemistry between the stars, who are friends off-camera, is obvious. They had fun making this film, and it shows.
  • Most of the laughs come from the comedians poking fun of themselves and their “film personas,” and it does a great job of this. Even the comedians I wasn’t fond of going into this film had begun to grow on me by the end.

What was bad?

  • The midsection of the film feels a bit flabby. There’s a manic excitement to the opening and final third, but the middle section spins its wheels as the characters wait for things to react to.
  • Holy cow do these guys like dicks. I get it, I have one, they’re funny looking. However, I’d estimate a full two thirds of the conversations in this movie involve the male reproductive system and its relevant appendages and fluids.
  • There are a ton of very brief cameos at the beginning of the film, and it feels like several comedians come and go without really getting their chance to shine.

Who will love it?

Stoners. Other celebrities. People who read Entertainment Weekly. People who track Jonah Hill’s weight loss progress. Dick aficionados.

Who will hate it?

Anarchists. Al Qaeda. People who read The Washington Times. People who are easily offended. Jonah Hill’s mother.

Can my kids see it?

What’s wrong with you?

So, how was it?

I enjoyed it. It tries a little too hard at the end, and some of the best jokes might be in the trailer, but I found it genuinely enjoyable and left the theater smiling.

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