Seth Rogen, playing himself, welcomes his old pal Jay Baruchel to Los Angeles for a weekend of chilling out, until Seth brings Jay to a massive party at James Franco’s house. In attendance are a myriad of celebrities, from a perverse and coked-up Michael Cera to Rihanna. The initial conflict in the film is the tension between Seth Rogen’s new friends in Hollywood and Jay Baruchel, but pretty soon the world starts to end in spectacular fashion, with the earth opening up and the Hollywood hills burning throughout the night. As the few survivors, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride barricade themselves in Franco’s lavish house to live through the apocalypse.
What follows is a strange fusion of horror comedy with some inviting insider jokes and devilish destruction. After Danny McBride eats and drinks a large share of their supplies, angers rise in the house, as well as old tensions resurfacing. As the gang use Franco’s art to barricade the doors, film make-believe sequels to some of their real-life movies, and generally panic about a lack of water, the situation outside doesn’t seem to be improving. By the climax with an anatomically correct Satan, so much has transpired on-screen most viewers won’t be quite sure what hit them. Whether it works or not, I’ll let you decide for yourself.
As said earlier, one thing This Is the End certainly does well is its many incredible cameos. Without giving away too much, I’ll reveal that Emma Watson, Channing Tatum, Aziz Ansari, and a certain boy-band all make hilarious appearances here. In addition, the main cast all poke fun at themselves through sometimes harsh comebacks. This feels like more than just a bunch of friends hanging out in front of a camera, like Grown Ups did, instead the actors here all seem to be putting in true effort to make us laugh, playing themselves like they would any other character.
While its crazy in its own wild way, This Is the End is also quite hilarious, and is without a doubt one of the best comedies of the year. The leads are all well established as a crew from Judd Apatow’s films, and so their ability to spoof themselves is a great joke that most audience members will be in on. Even if you don’t know these actors from other films, there’s still plenty of humor to be offered here, from the physical, to the vulgar, to the downright strange. An exercise in the self-mockery of actors, This Is the End blends horror comedy with the ridiculous in hilarious fashion, and with great success.