Sunday, June 16, 2013

This Is The End [A Fat Jesus Movie Review]

Oh Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, you somehow take a lacking comedy year and turn it on it's head with this comedy, action, apocalyptic, horror laugh riot. These are the guys who have brought us Superbad and Pineapple Express, the latter being one of my favorite comedies of the 2000s. You all know Seth Rogen and his crew by now. Most all them appear in each others movies as main characters, cameos, writers or producers. These guys form a close knit team that have been in the business of comedy for the past decade. From Knocked Up to Forgetting Sarah Marshall these guys can always be found in at least a pair in some of the biggest comedies since 2000. This Is The End is not the movie you think you're gonna see from the trailers. It quickly turns into the most outrageous inside joke you'll ever be apart of as these guys try to survive as exaggerated versions of themselves in this post apocalyptic comedy.

This Is The End follows the story of James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson as they ride out the apocalypse in James Franco's home. The movie opens with Jay arriving in LA to hang out with Seth. They end up playing video games and smoking weed all day. Seth informs Jay of a housewarming party Franco is throwing, and says that they should go. Jay is apprehensive, cause he's not really friends with Franco and Jonah the way Rogen is. Jay eventually agrees and they head to the party. A who's who of comedians are there including a coked up Michael Cera, Jason Segel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari and even Emma Watson and Rihanna. Halfway through the party, Jay needs a breather, so he and Seth go to get some smokes. That's when everything goes south. While at convenience store, blue lights start sucking people into the sky and mass panic ensues. Jay and Seth rush back to Franco's house where it seems like nothing has happened. Jay tries to warm the party goers to no avail. A tremor shakes the house and everyone rushes outside to see LA engulfed in flames. A sink hole opens up and swallows a lot of the people, while other just hightail it. Franco, Jonah, Jay, Seth, Danny and Craig survive and decide to hold up in in Franco's house and fortify it. As the apocalypse grows older by the day the group faces trials, such as running out of food and water, self realizations and face their inner demons. The group must band together and figure out how to survive the end of the world.

The worst thing about this movie is actually pacing. I'm dead serious. I've racked my brain around this movie since I saw it Thursday night and the very worst thing I can think of is that. The movie is nearly two hours, and while it doesn't always feel like it, there are draggy scenes throughout this. I think if they had cut 10 minutes out of this, or added five or so at the tail end, it could easily be even better. All my other complaints are pretty minor.  The story is almost too fun, it doesn't take itself seriously as semi-horror and kinda hurts it, especially at the end. While I know this is a comedy and fun is the name of the game, if you're gonna brand it as "post apocalyptic", I can't be laughing at Aziz Ansari falling to his death. If you're gonna give me horror inklings, I can't be laughing at Channing Tatum's butt. I never got the sense that any of the main characters had a chance of dying, even with everything going on around them. The ending is weird as well, not that it's terrible, it's just so out of nowhere I still don't know what to think of it. It's just so abrupt it caught me off guard I think. My only regret is that I now live in a smaller town, and this is the type of movie I'd have loved to see with a huge crowd. Not just me and like six other people. This isn't a knock on the movie at all, but more me venting that I miss living in a big city haha.

The main cast, and even then smaller parts from the cameos, are some of the best exaggerations of themselves ever. Emma Watson was great as the Emma Watson that would kick your ass if you crossed her. Jason Segel had a great little bit part calling out "How I Met Your Mother". While a coked up, womanizer Michael Cera was side splitting. James Franco played the perfect elitist Hollywood guy, only sticking with his best friend in Rogen. Jonah Hill may have the best character in this movie because of the insincerity laced in every line that comes out of his mouth. Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel are the best friends who are at a disconnect in their lives, but neither of them want to admit it to each other. Danny McBride morphs from the lovable jerk to the evil mastermind throughout the course of this. Finally Craig Robinson goes from the happy go lucky Darryl (from "The Office") type guy, to someone who is just trying to fit in and survive with this group. There is no other way to categorize all of these portrayals, than genius. Pick any two, stick them together and they someone is going to make you laugh. Put all of them together, like when they start making sequels to their previous movies, and it becomes a riot. This movie is funny, from start to finish. Sure it takes maybe 15 minutes to get its footing. But once Danny McBride starts making breakfast, oblivious to the apocalypse, This Is The End never lets off the gas pedal. There is a good soundtrack, okay visuals (the CGI in this is surprisingly good) and Franco's house turns out to be one of the best settings for a movie

This Is The End is the best comedy of the year so far, by a landslide. Not only that, for me, it's the best movie of the year released so far. Pacing problems, draggy scenes aside, this is a damn funny movie. It has an abundance of jokes, movies references and bits, jabs at each others careers and callbacks littered throughout. I can't wait to watch this again to pick out all the things I may have missed the first time. The acting is great, the music is good, the visuals are okay and the story is passable. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg haven't broken any new ground with the comedy in this. This is the same comedy style, wrapped around a story about the apocalypse. But you know what? They hit it out of the park.

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