This Is … way creepier than The Human Caterpillar.

Theatrical Release Date: 06/12/2013
Directors: Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen
Cast: Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Paul Rudd, Martin Starr
Rated: R for crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence.
Runtime: 1 hour, 47 minutes


That’s odd, it looks like there’s still move movie to go.

Striking first in theaters this year with the premise of a group of friends struggling to survive the apocalypse, This is the End is Seth Rogen and writing/directing partner Evan Goldberg’s take on how it would go down for their Hollywood celebrity circle.

As is customary for the weed-centric cinema most ascribe to Rogen, the jokes are gleefully immature and the cast is made up of his famous friends; including Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson. Key cameos come in the form of Emma Watson and Michael Cera (an actor I normally lambaste but found absolutely hilarious here). All of them are playing exaggerated versions of themselves, with obvious nods to how they’re publicly perceived.

What’s nice is that it’s obvious they had a great deal of fun making the movie and that energy is transferred to the screen. First and foremost, this is an entertaining film. It balances the comedic aspects with some very violent and, at times, scary moments. Putting aside my wussiness for a second, it wasn’t just me jumping now and again. Rogen and Goldberg inserted a number of sudden bursts of loud noise and demonic activity to good effect. The CGI won’t win any awards but the cut-scene video game stylization of it fits with the tone of the movie.

The movie gets a little long in the middle but it was satisfying to see so many “actors” I’m not usually fond of get killed in various ways, even if it was semi-alternative version of themselves. I’m still looking forward with even greater expectations to the other apocalypse movie this year, The World’s End – which is the finale of the Cornetto trilogy (consisting so far of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) from director Edgar Wright and the pairing of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. However, where I had initially assumed this might fall flat and only make that wait tougher, I exited the theater wishing it were a double feature.

It’s a shame the 2007 short film this is an expanded take on, Jay and Seth vs. the Apocalypse, was never actually released. I’d be interested to see what changes happened in bringing it to feature length. The good news though, is that audiences actually have something fun to go see. It does have a few scares and certainly earns its R-rating between the language and amount of male nudity (much of it CGI) that’s going on. But if you were bringing your small child to this in the first place (like some screening audience members did), I doubt a rational warning means much to you.

I’m sure this and The World’s End will approach things quite differently and despite their ridiculously identical themes, this is one time I’m not annoyed about it. Trying to describe this in a nutshell, I immediately thought of comparing this to Zombieland; this isn’t as clever as it relies on much cruder humor but that should give you some idea of what to expect. This Is The End should be a big hit with audiences and delivers on the laughs, scares, and fun. Even with a bias against some of the cast, watching many of them meet their demise might just be worth it for you. It was for me.

4 out of 5