This Is the End Screen 10 articles

This Is the End


This Is the End Poster
  • Even if [Rogen] and cowriter/director Evan Goldberg don’t write stoned, heavy use may have impaired their ability to differentiate between a clever idea for a 20-minute sketch and a concept able to sustain 106 minutes. The resultant grating jumble is the mash-up of self-ribbing show-folk satire and Left Behind-style rapture spectacle for which no one was asking.

  • It’s a hit-and-mostly-miss affair: For every gut-buster like McBride and Franco’s lengthy exchange about drenching each other in seminal fluid, there’s a fall-flat gag, such as an improvised-into-oblivion riff on raping special guest star Emma Watson, that quickly stifles the giggles.

  • Despite some throwaway jokes about celebrity, the whole thing quickly begins to feel like a gimmick, trading on pre-established personalities and generalized ideas of Hollywood excess, when most of these discussions and problems could pertain to any group of thirtysomething males faced with the imminent end of the world.

  • It’s the best and funniest and most absurd and outrageous and self-referential of all high-concept, stars-playing-themselves, Jewish Rapture movies ever made. Which is a long way of saying that I enjoyed the hell out of it for a while, but it got irritating and self-congratulatory long before it was over and I desperately do not want to see it again.

  • Rogen and Goldberg’s script likely has giant gaps reading “improv tk,” but its plot points — i.e., stuff they had to plan out — have merit. There’s a heartlessness that’s deeply amusing... [But] surely writers who toked less would come up with an ending that’s truly, awe-inspiringly, awesomely insane, rather than the fanboy anticlimax that results. Perhaps they should switch to acid.

  • It's kind of tiresome that the frame of reference is so limited — Backstreet Boys? "My Heart Will Go On"? — but their immersion in only a specific strain of Hollywood trash does have its payoffs; movies like Prince of Persia exist only to become punchlines in comedies like this one.

  • Rogen and Evan Goldberg... penned the outline that allows the stars to riff and improvise, as per their established formula. Improvisation in comedy is never easy, and for these dudes, the formula really works. They have terrific chemistry, and it never looks like they're having more fun than the audience. Unfortunately, the loose structure lazily rushes out plot points late in the game. This Is the End is about friendship under the test of dire circumstances, but the resolution is underwritten.

  • This comedy, which Goldberg and Rogen also wrote, takes literalism to not-stupid extremes. The years people like me have spent carping about the problems of the so-called bromance, often at Rogen's expense, have produced a movie that wants to call mocking attention to its excesses and privileges and then burn them down.

  • Yes, it’s indulgent and scrappy, demanding a high level of familiarity with the leading players and an equally high tolerance for weed smoking and masturbation gags. But it can be truly funny (Cera’s coke-snorting, ass-grabbing wildman is a highlight) and there’s room for a few sharp sideswipes at infantile masculinity and Hollywood hipsterism. No comedy classic, then, but a good natured and engaging slice of goonish self-mockery.

  • [Rogen's] success, and that of his cohorts, is presumably a case of his obsessions (smoking weed, mostly) matching those of his audience. Personally, I find him insufferable. Yet something happens in This Is the End. Playing ‘Seth Rogen’ seems to have freed Rogen to play an actual character, with flaws and some unsavoury details.

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