This Is the End
Written by: Nicholas Fazio
Published on: August 23rd 2013
I remember watching Monty Python’s Life of Brian for the first time. It was unlike any movie I’d ever watched. It was funny, outrageous, historical, political, religious, insanely clever and unquestionably a work of genius. To me, its most striking factor, despite all of these great attributes, was its raw display of imagination. There are several scenes where the silly and absurd were presented so beautifully that the viewers were plunged under the waves, into a water world of pure creativity. There’s the scene where Graham Chapman who played the protagonist Brian was suddenly abducted by aliens as he attempted to escape Roman legionaries. And who can forget the famous crucifixion scene where, after a failed suicide squad rescue, all the condemned gradually burst into a jovial rendition of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” which makes for one of the most absurdly happy movie endings of all time. The list goes on.
Almost 35 years later, directors Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen follow in the same footsteps as these British comedy forefathers. Adding an ensemble cast of well-known comedians, and a much looser script, they reincarnate an Americanized version of the Life of Brian’s comedy formula.
The religious plot-points, simultaneous mixture of outrageously stupid and modernly clever humour keep laughs perpetuating through the entire hectic story. Themes range from friendship to apocalypse and horror elements marry the grotesquely violent to make a completely unique experience.
While the writing isn’t always gold, it keeps things snappy, and there are only a few sluggish scenes for breath catching. With a starting cast of James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, Craig Robinson, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz, Channing Tatum, Rihanna, Paul Rudd, Kevin Hart and Aziz Ansari all playing themselves, laughs are guaranteed. Top this off with cultural references and cross-movie jokes, and a very unique type of humour is achieved.
Even where it struggles, This Is the End succeeds somewhat by adding to the ever increasing mayhem. Some may find it too crass, unusual or unsettling, but that’s the whole point. False maturity is directly correlated with funniness in This Is the End, and if you’re not grossed out by a human possession, bloody limb removal or jokes about genitalia, then something is wrong. It’s a movie about 6 guys trapped in James Franco’s Hollywood home while an apocalypse is happening around them. Insane? Yes. Funny? Yes. Genius? Not quite.
Monty Python front-man John Cleese once said, “The most creative people have this childlike facility to play.” This Is the End is a playpen, a chance to experience the creative insanity of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. This type of movie experience lacks the intelligent undertones of its great predecessors, but is rare enough to not be worth missing.
I give This Is the End 81 Backstreet Boy reunions out of 100 sinkhole-de-mayo celebrations.
- Lead Role(s): 16/20
- Supporting Cast: 8/10
Total = 24/30
- Pacing/Flow: 16/20
- Cinematography: 7.5/10
Total = 23.5/30
- Dialogue: 12/15
- Story: 12.5/15
Total = 25.5/30
- Special Effects/Sharpness: 4.5/5
- Soundtrack: 3.5/5
Total = 8.0/10