Tonight, I went to the opening night of “This is the End” – Directed and Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It tells the story of familiar actors – like Rogen and others like Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, James Franco and many other notable faces. These celebrity comics party together when all Hell breaks loose: literally. This story is essentially how would celebrities would survive what many know as: the Rapture, The End of Days, Judgement Day, The Apocalypse. At the same time, the story develops into a more serious exploration of friendships and just how fragile they can be.
Now. A majority of the comedy used in this film is focused on Male-based jokes and with that very crude male jokes. With that being said, being a confident and the assured young woman I am, I still found a lot of the jokes hilarious. They were just outrageous and totally the kind of written work that one would expect from this crew of comics.
What was really intriguing about this film is the fresh approach to the story telling itself. This is not a documentary (obviously) but it still uses the real life names of all of the actors in the movie. Though I do believe that their persona’s were exaggerated to a large extent and/or changed drastically, I found it refreshing that I was connecting with Seth Rogen as Seth Rogen, Jay Burachel as Jay Burachel and all of the other celebrities as the reacted to the world coming to an end. They could have changed their names, but I believe one of the most attractive thing of this film is new approach to how actors portray themselves in a film – especially in a comedy.
This being said, one of the struggling aspects of this film is the desire to play out the dynamic between these characters during the second act. I understand what Rogen and Goldberg want to achieve – which is to see these group of guys interact with the craziest situations. I understand. With that being said, it slowed down the pace in the second act. Since this is a comedy movie, I totally understand the need to slow it down and have the comedic parts enhanced. There were many good gags in it.
On a side note, this movie showcases a lot of talent and what is exciting about it is that it showcases the talent of 3 CANADIAN comics: Seth Rogen, Jay Burachel and Michael Cera. I am very excited about this as it demonstrates that Canadians are becoming a powerful force in the Film and Entertainment industry.
With this in mind, I listened to a couple of interviews and this was purposefully done in a way to critique Hollywood and what it means to be a Celebrity. It was one of the ongoing gags for the most part which the actors relied on their status to survive the End of the World. Rather than developing these outrageous celebrity characters and then react to the multiple outrageous situations – like it was done in “Tropic Thunder”, “This is The End” doesn’t need this to establish their characters. They rely on the audiences knowledge of pop culture references. Their established persona’s contrast with what is seen in this story and it just adds to the comic element. The shock and awe of the celebrities wears off and it becomes another story of characters reacting to a comedic story. What is intriging is the development of the characters. The story doesn’t have to develop much about the character as they are “real people” per say, but more or less trying to understand who they are as people and watch them act: taking who they are and just acting.
Overall, I give “This is The End” a strong must see if you enjoy the works of any of the actors starring in this film. It just goes to show that the End of the World doesn’t have to be doom and gloom – there is comedy to be found in the most depressing of times.
I welcome all critiques and comments! If you have seen it – let me know what you think of it!