“THIS IS THE END” My rating: C (Opens wide on June 14)
107 minutes | MPAA rating: R
“This Is the End” had so much positive web buzz that I opted to see Seth Rogen’s end-times comedy instead of the new Superman movie.
Note to self: Time to get skeptical about what you read online.
This writing/directing collaboration between Rogen and longtime film partner Evan Goldberg certainly sounded encouraging. Rogen and other raunch-comedy stars (James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel) play themselves as spoiled, clueless actors trapped in a house when the Rapture sucks all the good people up to Heaven.
Left to their own devices in a city ravaged by flames, earthquakes and rampaging demons, how will these Hollywood horndogs spend what little is left of their lives on Earth?
Not in prayer, certainly.
The film’s first 20 minutes are actually pretty clever. Rogen greets newly-arrived boyhood friend Baruchal at LAX. The idea is for the two old buds – Rogen is now a fully-vested Angelino, while Baruchal remains at heart a Canadian – to rekindle a friendship that has started to go stale.
Prominent on Rogen’s itinerary is a big blowout at the new home of James Franco. Baruchal is less than enthusiastic because he thinks most of Rogen’s show-biz friends are dicks.
And in fact “This is the End” is at its most amusing and outrageous in the party scenes where dozens of recognizable actors (Paul Rudd, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari, Jason Segal) portray themselves as shallow, vacant creatures of fame and priviledge.
Particularly hysterical is wimpy Michael Cera, who presents himself as a totally coked-up, sexually omnivorous whack job.