Remember the Irwin Allen “disaster movies” of the early ’70s, where much expense was spared into
bringing wheeling out old-time Hollywood stars and putting them into elaborate (and lavishly-staged) cataclysmic scenarios?
This Is The End is a savage, snide update of that trope, with wrinkly A-listers replaced with young, hot-shot comedy talents basically playing their spoiled-rotten studio-pampered selves. There is Jay (Jay Baruchel), who flies in to Los Angeles from Canada to meet up with old bud (and fellow Canuck) Seth (Seth Rogen) and set up an ice hockey team – NOT!!!! After a few “welcome to El Lay” tokes, they proceed to James’ (James Franco), who happens to be throwing a blessing party for his new digs.
Sure enough, the party is overflowing with sex, booze and drugs (not to mention Michael Cera getting front and back “service” from a couple of porn stars).
Oh look, there’s Rihanna by the pi-hanna…
A visibly uncomfortable Jay then steps out with Seth to a convenience store to get a Milky Way bar for Jonah (Hill, natch). THEN ARMAGEDDON STRIKES (nope, not that Bruce Willis-Ben Affleck falling-rocks-from-space piece of shit!!!) and the good folk get “raptured” up by beams of blue light while our heroes – along with much of Hollywood – are stuck on Earth dealing with giant sinkholes, ravaging cannibal marauders, and demonic (but well-HUNG) beasties.
All of a sudden, our hedonistic heroes get on survival mode, stocking up on food, drink, weed – and even a Penthouse mag to wank on (what can one expect from a film produced by the well-baked minds behind the Harold & Kumar movies???) Not only do they have to deal with an uninvited “guest” in the form of free-loadin’ Danny McBride, there are also those who happened to pass by, such as Emma Watson, wielding a firefighter’s axe as she suspects Franco and company having unhealthy desires on her, then makes off with a bagful of their supplies. Let’s not forget the poor sap who winds up in an unintended tribute to the “Brocken-Ball” scene from Shin Mazinger Z (where the detachable head of one of antagonist Dr. Hell’s associates, a decapitated Nazi general resurrected as a cyborg, becomes the ball in an impromptu game of soccer)
The funny bits are well worth it – for instance, an impromptu “sequel” to Rogen & Franco’s previous vehicle Pineapple Express (yeah, at least the shit’s real, this time) and a spoof of “exorcism” sequences from horror films brought about by Hill’s demonic possession (or is it his low blood sugar acting up?) Heck, who would have thought PSY’s annoying-as-hell “Gangnam Style” would work well as a soundtrack to a drug trip?
The cameos are fast, furious and definitely delirious: apart from the above-mentioned Rihanna, Cera and Watson, I got to spot Mindy Kaling (from the housewarming party), Channing Tatum (parodying his Magic Mike self as McBride’s “bitch”) and even a certain 90’s boyband (who said Heaven can’t be funky!!!!)
One has to be in the right frame of mind to get all the jokes and references, so I would assume not too many might find This Is The End funny. If it makes you laugh, fine…join the club!!!