Saturday, June 15, 2013


"This Is the End" is a comedy where we find Seth Rogen (Seth Rogen), Jay Baruchel (Jay Baruchel), Craig Robinson (Craig Robinson) and Jonah Hill (Jonah Hill) all hanging at James Franco's (James Franco) new digs in L.A. for a housewarming party. Rihanna is there, and so is Aziz Ansari, Jason Segal, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mindy Kaling, Emma Watson and a coked-out-of-his-mind Michael Cera. Then comes the end of the world as they know it. Yeah.

In its meta-filled nudges and self-pleasing schtick about actors playing parodied versions of themselves (the Academy Award-nominated Jonah Hill is faux pretentious and refers to himself as that actor from "Moneyball"), here's a comedy that is delirious, outrageous, wildly inspired and roll out of your chair in tears hilarious. It's the funniest movie since the original "Hangover" and likely to be the funniest movie of not only this year but perhaps a few years.

The script was penned by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who previously collaborated on "Pineapple Express" and "Superbad," the movie which kicked off most of this gang together. This marks their directorial debut as they take a one-joke movie and keep delivering and riffing on it with awesome comic timing. Once the four guys are holed up inside Franco's house, Danny McBride (Danny McBride) shows up and throws a wrench into their whole survival plan, eating all their food and drinking all their water. It's like an apocalyptic actor-starring "Real World," a pressure cooker of a situation where the main goal is to poke fun at these actors as much as possible.

You have to know these guys' stuff to be in on a lot of the jokes, of which these self-referential zings are the laugh-out-loud funniest. Take for example an entirely homemade sequel to "Pineapple Express" guest starring Woody Harrelson. But I've already said too much. You gotta see to believe how zany, nutty and balls-to-the-wall insane things get escalating to gut-busting proportions. In a raunchy mix of comedy and horror, Rogen and his team absolutely deliver the goods in a product that actually feels refreshingly independent aside from its major stars. It's smart about its stupidity and even squeezes in something to say about the status of celebrity and the nature of faith. And if you thought all those cameos at the start were something, just wait.

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