Tuesday, February 25, 2014

This is The End




Based on the short film Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse by Jason Stone, This is the End is an apocalyptic comedy in which a group of celebrity friends have a party until the Apocalypse emerges as the small group of survivors try to stay home at James Franco’s house as tension and such emerge as they all try to survive the end of the world. Written for the screen and directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, the film is a raunchy comedy where many of the actors in the film play fictional versions of themselves as they all try to survive the Apocalypse. Starring Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, and Emma Watson as they all play themselves with a cast that includes many other people. This is the End is a hilarious and extravagant comedy from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

The film revolves around an apocalyptic event during a party at James Franco’s house where many celebrities have died during the party while Franco, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride all stay at Franco’s house trying to survive with what little supplies they have. In turn, all sorts of things happen where much of the focus is about the strained relationship between Rogen and Baruchel as the latter arrives in Los Angeles visiting Rogen in the hopes to repair their friendship. Instead, the party at Franco would only further the strain as tension would also increase between the six where McBride is portrayed as a very greedy and selfish individual, Franco as a pretentious movie star who is attached to his old film props, and Hill as an overly-nice diva. All of which have the actors play exaggerated versions of themselves while there’s moments in the film that would test their friendship as well as how to survive the apocalypse.

The film’s screenplay by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg starts off as a nice, raunchy comedy where everyone but Baruchel is having a good time at Franco’s house where some of the wild moments involve Michael Cera doing cocaine and getting a blow-job. Once things start happening where people die and a sinkhole emerges in front of Franco’s house where chaos ensues and no one is sure what to make of it. With Baruchel thinking it’s the Apocalypse happening where Robinson would believe him, everyone else isn’t sure until all of the tension and such starts to emerge. Even as Baruchel is accused of being self-righteous and Rogen is accused of being a sell-out where Robinson is sort of the film’s conscience. All of which would play into these guys trying to survive the Apocalypse and face whatever is out there.

Rogen and Goldberg’s direction is very ambitious and lavish in terms of their idea of what might happen in the Apocalypse. Much of it involve some very hazy exterior scenes where it’s a world that is reminiscent of hell as the Hollywood Hills is being engulfed in flames while demons emerge wreaking havoc. The direction would feature some simple moments in the compositions as well as a lot of lively humor that is filled with spontaneity. Even as some of it is crass and confrontational where Rogen and Goldberg maintain that intimacy in Franco’s home as well as going very broad for many of the scenes set in Los Angeles. Even as it would involve these crazy moments while beams are shot up from the air taking people to somewhere unknown. Overall, Rogen and Goldberg create a very engaging and funny film about six friends trying to survive the Apocalypse.

Cinematographer Brandon Trost does excellent work with the film‘s cinematography with its use of yellow-lights and smoke to play into a look of ruin and terror for some of the film‘s exteriors and lights in the interior scenes. Editor Zene Baker does fantastic work with the editing where it plays into all sorts of styles including a few montages of the guys partying while creating home-made sequels to some of their films. Production designer Chris L. Spellman, with set decorator Helen Britten and art director William Ladd Skinner, does amazing work with the look of James Franco‘s house that includes some paintings and art work that surrounds the house to play into Franco‘s sense of arrogance.

Costume designer Danny Glicker does nice work with the costumes as it‘s mostly casual to play into the personality of the characters involved in the film. Visual effects supervisor Paul Linden does brilliant work with some of the visual effects such as the exteriors of Los Angeles engulfed in flames as well as the look of the demons the characters have to deal with. Sound designer Michael Babcock does superb work with the sound from the way the monsters sound to some of the chaos that occurs in and out of the house The film’s music by Henry Jackman is wonderful for its suspenseful-based orchestral score to play into some of the terror in the film while music supervisor Jonathan Karp brings in a fun soundtrack that consists of music from Black Sabbath, Cypress Hill, M.I.A., Whitney Houston, the Backstreet Boys, Dr. Dre, Snoop Lion, and other acts to play into the party atmosphere of the film.

The casting by Francine Maisler is incredible for the array of people that appear in the film as themselves such as Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart, Jason Segel, Paul Rudd, Rhianna, Martin Starr, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Aziz Ansari, and David Krumholtz as party guests. Michael Cera is hilarious as a very debauched version of himself doing cocaine, getting blow-jobs in bathrooms, and slapping Rhianna’s ass. Emma Watson is amazing as herself as she briefly appears in Franco’s house during the Apocalypse carrying an axe. Danny McBride is great as himself as he brings his Kenny Powers character to the mix as this overly-selfish and greedy person. Craig Robinson is excellent in a much more calm and softer version of himself as he sort of plays the film’s conscience.

Jonah Hill is superb as this overly-nice and sensitive version of himself as he wears an earring and wants to be peaceful yet secretly hates Jay for being self-righteous where he gets to be very funny later in the film. James Franco is fantastic as this even more smug version of himself who likes to keep his props while trying to maintain order only to create more tension in the group. Jay Baruchel is brilliant as the loner of the group who tries to make sense of everything while creating some misunderstanding during the chaos. Finally, there’s Seth Rogen in a terrific performance as a more subdued version of himself who is insecure about his man-titties while trying to include Jay into the gang though he is also trying to maintain his friendship with Franco.

This is the End is a flat-out hilarious apocalyptic comedy from Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen. Thanks to a great cast, a unique premise, and a fun soundtrack, it’s a film that pokes fun of celebrity and the idea of how they would survive the Apocalypse. Even as they would turn against each other and do all sorts of crazy things in an event like this. In the end, This is the End is a remarkable film from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.

© thevoid99 2014

1 comment:

Wendell Ottley said...

I also enjoyed this one a lot. Each guy's exaggerated version of themselves was so spot-on. I couldn't help but laugh all the way through it. Great review!