Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

This Is the End (2013)

If the world is going to end, please let me be surrounded by at least one of these guys.

Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson and a whole slew of other celebrities and friends come to a party at James Franco’s house and what’s supposed to be just a normal, get-shitty-with-it bash, all of a sudden turns into something incredibly deadly and dangerous. It’s actually the apocalypse that is occurring, but rather than going outside and running the chance of possibly getting killed, the guys decide to stay in the house in hopes that help will eventually come their way. What actually ends up happening is that the guys get absolutely sick and tired of one another and just pray that they get killed as soon as possible.

In the year 2013, when the Wolf Pack doesn’t even seem concerned with squirting out a laugh or two; Owen and Vince can’t recapture the glory days they once had; and that the only thing funny going on with Melissa McCarthy is how a critic refers to her as a “Hippo”, it’s nice to be reminded that comedy is yes, still alive and well, and best of all: still able to make a person hold their stomach while laughing. Then again, with everybody from the Judd Apatow crew, could I have expected anything less? Seriously, everybody here has, and probably will forever always be funny, but if you put them together in one movie, with one inspired-premise that makes them have to be around each other, and give them plenty of lee-way with who the director is (in this case, it’s both Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg); then you have absolute hilarity that does not disappoint for a single bit.

Hyped it up quite enough for ya?

Somehow, something tells me that the actual party would be more horrific and insane.

Somehow, something tells me that the actual party would be more horrific and insane.

Well good, because this movie is the best comedy of the year so far, and judging by what seems to be coming up in the future, probably the rest of the year. It’s well deserved too because year-after-year, we get a comedy that’s funny, makes us laugh, makes us have a good time, and reminds us why we like going to the movies, but never really does anything that’s worth remembering except for maybe a couple of chuckles here and there. Which means we rarely so often actually get a comedy that’s hilarious, is a hoot-and-a-half, and reminds us why comedies can be enjoyed so much, no matter what they’re about or who’s in them. Oh, and to make that even better; it’s an R-rated comedy at that.

It’s not a comedy that wants to appeal to a mass-audience and it’s sure as hell not a comedy that takes it’s R-rating with a grain of salt; this is a very, very hard-R, and rightfully so because when you have these dudes, playing caricaturized-versions of themselves, you need all the cursing, nudity, grotesqueness, smugness, evil, etc. you can get to really make a person laugh. In this movie’s case; it makes you laugh plenty more than you expected and that’s what I loved so much about this movie. It makes you laugh, and always has you guessing what’s going to come of next with this story, direction, humor, or just what the hell these guys are going to pull out of their sleeves next. After the first 10-15 minutes where we see Franco’s party get destroyed and there actually becomes a big-ass hole in the Earth’s crust, we are just hanging around a bunch of funny dudes that can’t take themselves as seriously as they would like to be portrayed and do whatever the hell they feel like doing next. And by “whatever the hell they feel like doing next”, I do mean, “WHATEVER THE HELL THEY FEEL LIKE DOING NEXT.”

This is an aspect of movies, never mind comedies, that we rarely see and it’s so hard to actually see a movie as blatant and obvious as this to take full-on pleasure in it. And trust me, I don’t mean “blatant” and “obvious” in the bad way either, I mean it in the way that these guys know that they’re making jokes out of themselves, and we know it too, so why not just join in the fun and have a couple of laughs while you’re at it? That’s how I felt throughout this whole movie, as each and every line that these guys dropped, whether it be improv or actual-dialogue written down on a page, just came at my stomach like a knife and had me howling for day’s on end. I’m still laughing thinking of some of the lines, and it’s almost too quotable to even remember. Everything everybody says in this movie, is either hilarious, random, or just so-stupid-it’s-funny, and it makes you wish that more and more comedies had the pride and joy to goof around with itself, almost as much as these guys are able to.

So, yeah, everything you’d expect to see and hear in a comedy coming from these dudes; you will see and hear. There’s plenty of drinking, dick-jokes, drug-induced trips, weed-smoking, violence, jerking-off, uses of the word “fuck”, pop-culture references (even to their own movies), and lines that come and leave so quickly, that you almost feel as if you have to watch it all over again just to see what you missed out on or what you think you heard correctly the first time, only to find out differently the second. It’s what to expect from these guys, and it only gets better, funnier, and more and more unpredictable, almost where it’s anybody’s game for the taking, it’s just time until somebody actually walks away with it all.

That’s why it’s so rare to get a comedy as brilliant and crazy as this that makes you laugh and hold your gut, but also one that still works even when it gets a bit sympathetic and action-y by the end. Since this is a horror-comedy flick, you have to expect there to be plenty of action, explosions, special-effects, and random bouts of violence you don’t see coming, but surprisingly, it works well with the rest of the tone as the movie seems to take itself just seriously enough that we are invested in what happens. It never gets serious to the point of where you need a tissue handy, but it does get a somewhat serious to where you can see that these guys still care about the story and the characters they’ve written, even if they are essentially themselves, just in a more Hollywood-ized version.

However, with top-notch comedy acts like these dudes, you can’t ever expect them to do anything serious or honest; you just have to let them roll and continue to make us laugh, which is exactly what each and every one of them does, in their own ways. James Franco plays up the whole “serious, artsy actor”-aspect to his public-image in the way that he’s obviously been the most successful and most respected out of the whole clan, yet, still acts like an idiot as if he was still playing that cool mofo, Daniel Desario. It’s funny to see Franco, who’s at the height of his career, still be able to make a joke or two at himself (I’m down for any Flyboys reference!), without really going too far that it seems like he’s desperate to gain back the respect from the comedy-crowd. Oh, and “the gay rumors” aren’t put to rest either, so take with that what you will.

Jonah Hill also plays up the whole fact that he got quite the big head around the parks when he got nominated for an Oscar those two years ago, and shows that he’s soften-up a mighty-bit since then. As time goes on though, Hill gets meaner and meaner, while still being able to maintain that softness to him that makes him so loveable, even when he is randomly being a dick. Seth Rogen is probably the one who doesn’t really get the most shine from the spot-light, but I think that was fine as hell for him since he was just sitting-back, relaxing, and directing the hell out of his buds, but also still having a great time while doing so. Even he gets a chance to make fun of himself as well, especially when, early on, a paparazzo says  “You play the same guy in every movie, right?” Classic, classic line.

They even get him to do the laugh. Yay!

"Stop, stop, stop! Let me fetch my make-up before you get this shot. Why? Cause I'm James Franco beitch!!!"

“Stop, stop, stop! Let me fetch my make-up before you get this shot. Why? Cause I’m James Franco beitch!!!”

Jay Baruchel plays what is essentially the Canadian outsider of the group that hasn’t really connected much with any of these guys, and has only lingered around Rogen for so long, that it’s almost became smothering. He’s funny, even though he is typically playing the straight-dude who’s thrown into a do-or-die situation with a bunch of idiots. Fun idiots, but idiots nonetheless. Danny McBride shows up and acts like the self-centered dick who’s upset with cumming everywhere like you’d expect from his latest-bouts with comedy, and shows that raw-edge we all love and know him for (except for maybe in Your Highness, which they even make another reference to as well!). And last, but sure as hell not the muthafuckin’ least is Craig Robinson as the sex-addled, black dude of the group that always yells, sweats, and says dirty things like “get your panties off baby!” Robinson is always hilarious in the shit that he does, which is why it’s such a joy to see him back in his prime, without anybody telling him exactly what to do and how to do it. He just free-balls it, and surprisingly comes up with the biggest laughs of all.

Of course, the movie is cameo-central which, as you could probably tell by the trailer, is hilarious and as unpredictable as the rest of the movie (Michael Cera’s as the coked-up, sex-fiend version of himself had me laughing long before the 20 minute mark). However, the movie doesn’t focus on that as much as you’d expect, and instead stays with these guys throughout the whole movie and shows that even though they have changed, gotten a bit more serious with their careers, and have “sold out” in ways they didn’t expect to when they first started out as young, brass, and ambitious funny-men, that they are still there for one another and will go-to-bat for anyone. Granted, there are on-screen relationships in this movie that aren’t as friendly (Franco and McBride hate each other and show it in probably the funniest scene out of the whole movie), but it’s the under-lining thoughts and feelings that count. You can tell that everybody here loves hanging out with one another and using a movie as an excuse to hang-out and pal-around, but whereas other times, it feels manipulative and cheap; this time, it feels right and deserved. Well deserved, actually. Keep comedy alive, guys. Please!

Consensus: Like with most comedies of this nature, it’s usually more sporadic than it is gut-bustingly hilarious, but with This is the End, it doesn’t matter since the comedy, as well as the rest of the movie, fires on all cylinders, takes no names, leaves none in return, and has you laughing until you seriously don’t know what’s next for these guys to make fun of. Then they make fun of it, and have you laughing even more since they pulled it off, and did it with flying colors.

9 / 10 = Full Price!!

No comedy, nor movie, is complete without the signature Craig Robinson yell. Comedy gold.

No comedy, nor movie, is complete without the signature Craig Robinson yell. Comedy gold.


47 responses to “This Is the End (2013)

  1. Day at the Movies June 12, 2013 at 4:10 am

    Nicely done. My review just went up as well. I didn’t like it quite as much…some of the jokes seemed a bit TOO insider at times among themselves…but overall a hard edged funny film. When it works…it REALLY works

  2. keith7198 June 12, 2013 at 4:16 am

    Nice review! This is a film loaded with actors I can’t stand (with the exception of Franco). Hate to say it but it would probably take a large sum of cash to get me watch it. 😉

  3. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop June 12, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Nice one Dan. I really wasn’t expecting this to be up to much to be honest, but I’ll keep it in mind. Not out here yet but reckon it could be a bit of fun as and when it hits.

  4. Amonymous June 12, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Nice review sir. I thought this was OK, there were a few things that didn’t quite work for me. Still, the ending did make me laugh!

  5. Whit June 12, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Great review! Looking forward to this.

  6. kloipy June 12, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I held a lot of trepidation about this one. I thought the trailer was funny but wasn’t sure how this would hold up as a full feature. Sounds like it is pretty great! Great review

  7. Brittani Burnham June 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Great review! I’m even more excited for this now.

  8. Cameron June 12, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Excellent review! Even more stoked to see this after reading it.

  9. Zoë June 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Oh I really want to see this! Great review, and the score really makes me want to have a look see!

  10. Tim The Film Guy June 12, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    Wow this is getting stellar reviews, looking like the surprise win of the summer 😀

  11. claratsi June 12, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    looking forward to this and your review is very encouraging. nice one!!!

  12. filmhipster June 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    Wow, glowing review…I’ve read a few articles and you’ve liked it a lot more the most Dan. Gives me hope indeed!

  13. luhatearsuha June 12, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    great review. I had no intentions of watching this but now, i just might go and make an effort .

  14. Minako June 13, 2013 at 3:33 am

    Great review. I LOVED this movie. It was refreshing to see some actual comedy this year! I was laughing from start to finish.

  15. Kim @ Tranquil Dreams June 13, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Awesome review Dan! I don’t go see comedies in the theatres but this one looks pretty cool. I did like the trailer a lot. Definitely will check it out when its released 🙂

  16. Mark Hobin June 14, 2013 at 2:26 am

    I laughed my a– off in this film. Funniest comedy of 2013. Great review Dan!!

  17. lifebetweenfilms June 14, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    Not usually a movie I would see but I was excited to because I love some of these guys (esp Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen). I thought the movie was really hilarious; my favorite scene being the argument between Franco and McBride about jerking off (so funny!). I do think it lost some of it steam by the end but a funny movie overall.

    Regarding Cera, I think its interesting how he plays his “exaggerated” self. In the recent indie “End of Love”, he also “plays” himself at a party and though he wasn’t as drug-addled as in this one, he was alittle out of his mind and even was playing with a gun at the party. Makes me wonder if he does have a “crazy” reputation at parties in Hollywood as there is some grains of truth to their self-parodies, lol.

  18. Daniel Prinn June 16, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Great review, Dan. Hilarious movie. I loved every minute of it. And I’m glad you did, too 😀

    I can’t wait to watch this again.

  19. Evan Crean June 16, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    I found this movie to be funny, but not nearly as uproarious or as clever as most. I think this is a great premise and there are some comedic high points, as well as some low points as well like the boring exorcism scene that feels like it’s straight out of “Scary Movie.” At times I found this to be overly self-indulgent and the humor to be a bit alienating because it’s so riddled with inside jokes. One thing that surprised me is that the main characters weren’t as outrageous as I thought they might be. The only one who really took their alter ego to the extreme was McBride. For me it was also obvious that this film was based on a short. I didn’t think it had the legs to stretch properly into the full 107 minute story. Good review Dan.

  20. VictorsMovieReviews June 17, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Another great review. I loved this one as well.

    Great point about how even with all the cameos the central story is about the main six characters.

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  23. ysaleth June 21, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Great review! The movie really is hilarious, I saw it twice already haha. Plus it had so many funny people in it all at once so it’s a win-win right there! I don’t usually laugh during movies or even smile (I’m a robot apparently) but this one had me laughing the whole time. Relieved you liked it too!

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  25. Elizabeth July 4, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Visiting your site just to read this review. SO excited to see the film now. I was worried it was going to be one of those films with all the highlights in the trailer, but it really sounds hilarious 🙂

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