This is the End (4 stars)

This is the End

Star-studded cast play themselves in end of the world film by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg?....Hilarious!

The apocalypse hits during James Franco’s housewarming party. What will the remaining gang of A, B and C-listers (all playing themselves) do to survive? Hard to imagine, isn’t it, how this could be anything other than obnoxious? A bunch of actors prepared to make a whole film riffing on their star personas and Hollywood lifestyles.

Well, the happy surprise is that this is one in-joke that it’s worth being in on. It’s funny about spoiled Hollywood hipsters, horror movies, masturbation and ruptured male friendships. It’s even funny about Channing Tatum, which you wouldn’t think possible. Getting a lot of its laughs from Hollywood knowledge that viewers might not have, it does mean that This is the End will probably get more love from film critics than from ordinary people with more important stuff to do than be familiar with the back catalogue of Danny McBride and the reputation of Michael Cera. And some of the gags, including an elaborate closing set-piece, will have less traction in the UK than the US.

Also, make no mistake: about 40% of it is dick jokes, and they’re pretty foul ones. Do not sneak children in on the basis that they like Emma Watson, unless you want to have a LOT of explaining to do. But in the main, this is funny gross-out (eloquent gross-out, if such a thing’s possible): South Park as opposed to Family Guy or early Judd Apatow compared to more recent Judd Apatow.

It would have been nice had more space been made for a funny woman other than Watson’s winning cameo, but you can’t have everything. An enjoyable mainstream American comedy is already something approaching a miracle, so those with strong stomachs for shady humour should grab this with both hands.

General release from Fri 28 Jun.

This Is The End Trailer

This Is the End

  • 2013
  • US
  • 1h 47min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Evan Goldberg/Seth Rogen
  • Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel
  • UK release: 28 June 2013

Goldberg and Rogen direct their pals (as themselves) in this comedy about the end of the world.