6.1 out of 10
“This is the End” needed to figure one important thing out: when to end. The film is very funny at times and has a hilarious ending, but the crude humor and vulgar language wears on you. It is great at first then the film gets stuck in neutral before it finally kicks it back into gear for a solid ending. If you can stand some really foul language and very distasteful comedy then this is one to check out, eventually. If hearing the “F-bomb” more than a couple dozen times is too much for you, definitely pass.
“This is the End” uses a unique point of view to deliver an average apocalyptic comedy.
Any spoilers will be clearly marked so you can avoid reading them if you so choose.
“This is the End” opens in Baltimore on June 12, 2013.
The film will make you laugh. Even if you don’t particularly care for crude humor, the sheer volume of jokes and funny gags will undoubtedly deliver something to make you laugh. And for most people this film will make you laugh a lot.
The unique point of view adds a lot to the humor in the film. The movie was shot using the actors’ real names. Granted, most of them are still playing characters and acting, but the premise allowed for a lot of jokes that would otherwise not work. Plus, it’s fairly unique and that is a big plus in any film nowadays.
There are a few scenes that are just beyond funny. These moments have the ability to make you laugh so hard you forget to breathe; side pains, runny eyes, the whole nine yards. And the ending is fantastic. I would have loved to have been in the writers’ room when someone came up with that idea.
The large cast and great cameos are a lot of fun.
The best way to describe what is wrong with “This is the End” is to suggest an alternative medium. This movie would have been better off as an HBO or Showtime miniseries. That way the audience only gets an hour at a time and then has a week to recover before the next round. Low brow humor gets old very fast and 105 minutes straight feels like someone beat you over the head with a theater usher’s flashlight.
The most frustrating thing about a comedy like this is the fact that you will undeniably miss some jokes in the theater due to the laughter. Even if your theater is only one third full it is easy to miss some of the fast paced dialogue and follow-up jokes. You pay good money to see a film in the theater and missing large chunks of the comedy is unacceptable. Is there much the writers can do about it? No, not really. Spacing out the actors’ lines would have added another 10 to 15 minutes to the already too long feature; not to mention kill some of the timing humor.
When “This is the End” gets to the third act things get ridiculous. And for every piece of material that is genius and funny there is another piece that is over-the-top, over-the-line and absurd. The pace and humor definitely pick back up after a slow act two, but the bad scenes make you forget about the good ones and the great ending can’t make up for the marathon of filthy humor.
The movie starts off with a joke about how Seth Rogen plays the same character in every film and this star/director/writer does the exact same thing in this one. Where’s the Rogen who stepped out of his comfort zone in “50/50” (review link, my favorite film of 2011) and shined? The movie is comparable to taking the raunchiest scene from every Seth Rogen film, throwing them all into a blender, hitting “frappe” and then setting the resulting short film on loop.
The Bottom Line
If you are a diehard Seth Rogen fan or enjoy some really obscene humor that often crosses the line, then this is a potential rental down the line. Do not waste theater money on this one because even if you love the movie you will miss some dialogue. Low brow humor sets a new low in “This is the End” and at times it works and is hilarious, but the feature length film is just too much to bear. After watching this movie there is one thing that is certain: I never, ever want to know what goes on inside Seth Rogen’s head.