This Is The End (2013)
Directed by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
“This Is The End,” that Seth Rogen summer comedy you’ve probably heard of, is at times witty. It’s at times terrifying. But for most of its 107 minutes, it manages to be mundane. For starters, aren’t they a little late to the apocalypse game? That was so 2012. It’s only forgivable once they explain that this is rapture, a Christian (and not Mayan) end-of-days. But why did they kill off all the best characters after 10 minutes? A coked-up Michael Cera remained the funniest character in the entire movie, though he had but a handful of lines. Paul Rudd and Jason Segel, too, would have made for much better long-term characters than Jonah Hill or Craig Robinson. Even Mindy Kaling and Aziz Ansari would have been funnier. They chose the wrong starting six. Was that giant celebrity-eating sinkhole a metaphor for the path the movie had already begun to take? Pretty much.
Peter Travers, who disappointed me when he gave the movie high marks, said it best when he referred to some of the lines as sounding improvised. That’s mostly because a lot of the jokes just aren’t funny. Unless you like phallic imagery and overdone jokes about masturbation…and even then, there are far more hilarious potty-humor movies. I laughed out loud a few times, sure. When Seth Rogen and James Franco imagined their ideal “Pineapple Express” sequel, I chuckled. The final scene was the best. Not just because it was over, but because it contained the only really entertaining sequence. In any feature-length comedy, that’ll happen. But I also cringed when I saw stars Hill, Rogen, Franco, and Danny McBride desperately plea for laughs (I exclude frontman Jay Baruchel because he was the funniest – if least famous – of the big 6). They had hoped that putting six of the biggest comedians for the 18-24 year old demographic would automatically translate into laughs. It didn’t work. Instead, it turned into a slightly-funnier-than-“Valentine’s Day” celebrity dumpster type movie. IMDb users love in in a big 8/10 way. It boggles my mind to think that so many people, probably college-aged dudes like me, found this movie that enjoyable. I ask anyone else that enjoyed it more than I did to please explain why. Maybe I missed something.