MOVIE REVIEW: This Is The End

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Film: This Is The End
Starring: Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel
Directed by: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

The hysteria surrounding the ‘end times’ that was so present in the last half of 2012 proves to be alive and well at the box office this week with the release of This Is The End. The inaugural directorial effort from screenwriting duo Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the film pokes fun at celebrity worship and friendship amidst the end of the world. It opens in theaters today, June 12, and anyone who isn’t rushing out the door to catch a screening this instant is a damned fool.

The central story of This Is The End follows longtime friends Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel who, like everyone else in the film, play versions of their real life selves that makes light of their generally accepted public perceptions. Baruchel is visiting Rogan from Canada, and after a short time spent getting high at home the two head to a party at James Franco’s house filled with a slew of notable faces. Shortly after arriving, however, all hell breaks loose and the gigantic party is slimmed down to a remaining group of survivors that includes Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson. Madness ensues, beasts from other dimensions appear, and soon our group of friends realize the end is indeed near.

Going in, I never expected This Is The End to be more than a novel idea featuring people with a proven track record for being funny that would ultimately be forgotten in a few months. What I found, however, is a comedy gem that will surely inspire future filmmakers to go all out when attempting to tell a story. Rogen and Goldberg have mastered what works with post-modern, reference-loving, pop culture addicted younger generation of movie goers from their previous efforts and have used that knowledge to create a story that is 100% unlike anything they or anyone else in film has delivered in recent memory. Instead of presenting a big idea and then making a small story, this movies takes that big idea and explores it to the fullest extent possible. It’s extremely satisfying, albeit completely ridiculous, but isn’t that what summer movies are meant to be?

When you break it down, This Is The End is a one or two joke movie that somehow manages to keep viewers entertained for 90 minutes on paperthin ideas that deliver big laughs. That isn’t a slam, per se, more an admittance of why I found myself so in love with this movie. The idea to blend celebrities trumping their own personas amidst the end times is a simply-yet-effective approach that delivers big laughs again and again in spite of never stretching either idea too far. By all accounts this movie should have gone down as a noble attempt at a perhaps ill-advised notion, but instead Rogen and Goldberg have delivered their most thoroughly entertaining effort in years, and the best part of all may be that they have done so in a way that can not be bastardized by a future sequel. This is one time, go for broke story that succeeds on nearly every level, regardless of how much you love or hate the people featured within. This is one movie going experience you don’t want to miss.

Score: A-

Review written by: James Shotwell (Twitter)

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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