If you haven’t seen the film and aren’t fully aware of the entire cast, you should probably watch the movie before reading my review. I’m going to mention most of the cast.
Now, as much hate as Seth and his crew get these days, I personally am happy to see This Is The End happen. Naysayers really haven’t ever stopped much, mostly they just find some sort of guilty pleasure in saying things are terrible it seems. But let’s not debate that, to each their own. My underlining point is that I was excited to see this film, I happen to love the guys that star in this comedy/horror. It’s a full roster of funny guys if you’re into their kind of humor and I very much am. I had heard that it was deeply religious, too disgusting to bother seeing and that it was basically the stars standing around being exaggerated versions of themselves for the most part. Say what you will, but I think they excelled in whatever their formula was going in, I laughed out loud multiple times. It’s rare that comedies happen anymore that are laugh out loud funny even once in my opinion.
Admittedly, the first 15-20 minutes of this movie are extremely common to the typical movies these actors have done in the past and they really seem to revel in that fact. They play themselves, just bigger, larger than life versions in some cases. Some of my favorite parts involved Michael Cera, known as the nicest guy in Hollywood, being anything but himself. I laughed pretty hard at a particular scene involving a Capri-Sun and another with Rhianna. They did a great job writing him outside of himself in this movie, he was solid playing a guy with a much more robust set of indiscretions than I would imagine Michael Cera himself would have.
They also play a lot on Pineapple Express (most of the cast was in this movie) and tease a second one. Jonah Hill was great throughout the entire film but one of my personal favorite scenes is him playing Woody Harrelson. It’d take large feet to fill those shoes but he does an effective job in making it a lot of fun. I don’t think it’s much of a spoiler since they promoted the movie all over the place, but he makes a pretty good demon as well.
Danny McBride may have been the show stealer though, acting much like his Kenny Powers (HBO’s Eastbound and Down) persona the entire time. I’ve read articles about him being a fairly reserved, focused, quiet guy in reality but he was absolutely hilarious! He and James Franco have a couple of extremely raunchy conversations that guys will probably enjoy a lot more than a female audience. His attitude towards his ‘friends’ and even how he first comes into the picture really makes you think, ‘this must be who he really is’. He’s that kind of actor though, always sells his dirt-bag personality really well. It’s almost hard to imagine he could be anything else.
Seth Rogen, James Franco and Craig Robinson are all also really solid in their roles, I just think that some of the funniest moments comes from some of the other stars. Emma Watson, for example, was stellar. I was surprised to see her in the movie at all, let alone as such a cool chick who’d hang out with those nerds. It was nice to see her as someone aside from Hermoine for a while, though I’m a Potter nut as well. “Hermoine just stole all of our shit”. If you’re a Potter fan, you’ll appreciate her role for sure. Another worth mentioning is a small part with Channing Tatum. I’d say that came courtesy of 21 Jump Street with Jonah. He was a good sport, that’s all I’ll say.
The story was pretty exciting actually, lots of large-scale things happen that do concern you for these guys. This is where the religion comes in. I won’t go into it more than that only because I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, but I think it’s pretty open to interpretation. I’ve read other reviews and forum threads with people arguing points back and forth but I actually commend them for ending in the direction they did. I didn’t expect it, I figured they’d take amassive shot at certain groups of believers but it was fairly respectable in my opinion. Or, you can flip that over and think they made a joke about it completely. My personal feelings are that they did a decent job of taking such a large subject and not trampling too hard. It was fun to see them look at different angles from beginning to end.
If you buy the blu-ray set, you’ll get a slew of extras (case-back claims over 90 minutes). The Best Buy version comes with an extra, exclusive DVD with extras on it as well. A rental probably won’t offer you too much.
The Cannibal King
Let’s Get Technical
The Making of “The Making of Pineapple Express 2″
Jay & Seth vs. The Apocalypse – The Original Short
Also I want to mention that it’s mastered in 4k, which means that it looks really terrific. The sound is also very dynamic for a good home theater. And if you’re into these guys and/or their kind of humor, you’ll probably love it. My advice is to not take it too seriously, it’s all in good fun.