This Is The End Is The Funniest Film In Forever
There is a scene in This Is The End where James Franco and Danny Mcbride argue about where and when McBride can ‘relieve’ himself in Franco’s house. It is filthy, juvenile and absolutely the funniest scene of the year.
Or it’s the most obnoxious and pointless thing you’ve ever seen.
It’s not unfair to say that This Is The End requires you to bring a certain amount of love for Seth Rogen and his Freaky Geeky entourage. If you shrugged your shoulders at Pineapple Express or are indifferent to Knocked Up, then This Is The End probably isn’t for you. If you’re already a convert however, then this is one of the funniest films any of them have been involved in.
The film is as straight forward as it looks. Rogen invites old pal Jay Baruchel to stay with him in LA for the weekend. While Jay resents how ‘Hollywood’ Seth has become Seth wants to integrate him into his new group of friends and takes him to an enormous house party at Franco’s new pad.
Then the Apocolypse happens and the pair find themselves marooned with Hollywood funny men Franco, McBride, Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson.
While This Is The End does tend to rely on long scenes of the gang riffing on each other. Rogen and co-director and writer Evan Goldberg have the good sense to keep the film focused on the characters. The film takes place during the end of days but the heart of the film is about friendship, albeit in a slight and goofy way. The result is the sweetest film I’ve seen that also features gargantuan demon er… bits.
And it’s funny. It’s so, so funny. The gags (with the exception of a misjudged sequence at the end) always land and land hard. The best stuff is stuff that’s clearly just fallen out of their mouths either during rehearsal or on set and crucially it’s reigned in enough so that scenes of the boys squabbling go on just long enough without out staying the welcome. There is a lot of meta humour that does require a certain knowledge of the actors history “Hey, let’s NOT do a sequel to Your Highness.” but it won’t sink the film for you if you don’t.
The cast is incredible but like I said, that depends on whether you like the cast. You won’t suddenly be won over by any of them if you’re not already a fan (though Michael Cera might challenge that idea) but if you’re anything like me you’ll love the time spent with them. Rogen and Baruchel play the straightest roles which makes sense as the plot hangs on them. They’re all playing heightened versions of themselves, so while the two seem reserved in comparison it keeps that core relationship grounded.
As he is wont to do, McBride steals the film completely. Everyone gets their moment to shine (Franco in particular gets to prove that Saul Silverman wasn’t a fluke) but it’s McBride that hoists it over his shoulder and strolls out of the room. He gets two entrances in this film and both are better and cooler than any others this year.
There’s not much else to be said. This is a film that will delight or alienate you. I can’t see any middle ground. If you’re up for it you’ll find a classic to go alongside your favourite comedies. Word of warning however. You may find yourself yelling “DAMMIT FRANCO, I’LL *** WHEREVER I WANT!” even if you don’t want to.