Netflix UK film review: This Is the End
Celebrities playing themselves!8
Celebrities playing themselves...4
Selina Pearson | On 07, Nov 2013Reading time: 2 mins
Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Cast: James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Emma Watson
Watch This Is the End online in the UK: Netflix UK / TalkTalk TV / iTunes / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Google Play
What if the apocalypse was actually one of those drunken house parties you went to as a teenager? What if it was populated by pretentious, narcissistic, obnoxious individuals you would normally avoid, but you got drunk and your friend who is driving you home wants to stay at the party so you’re stuck there?
That’s a lot like the experience of watching This Is The End – you can endure it to some extent, but there are more fun things to do with your time.
Jaded Jay Baruchel (Baruchel) dislikes Hollywood, but tolerates it for his best buddy Seth Rogen (Rogen). They go to James Franco’s house warming, where Franco (Franco) sends up his off-screen persona as a pseudo-intellectual philosopher. Having to hang out with Hollywood types Jonah Hill (Hill), Michael Cera (Cera) and Craig Robinson (Robinson), Baruchel is in his idea of hell on earth – where he is joined by the surviving members of the cast when The Rapture actually happens. With no one at Franco’s worthy of saving, the survivors must fend for themselves while not ruining the last bit of porn in existence, not beating to death party crasher Danny McBride, and keeping Hermione (Emma Watson) away from the last Milky Way.
The cast play caricatures of themselves: Seth Rogen is the nice guy; Baruchel is the self-righteous hipster who disdains everyone around him; Robinson is pleasant but bland; and McBride is completely unlikeable. While distracted by celebrity spotting at the party and being entertained by Michael Cera’s outrageous shenanigans, the film bounces along in a star-speckled wheeze. But much of the apocalypse is hard work. The film seems aimless, dwelling on how awful these actors are. Lots of respect should go to the guys for going through with presenting themselves as such unpleasant personas – and it’s clear that they enjoyed making it – but there’s a point at which cock jokes cease to amuse.
It’s not unbearable, but the fun wears thin, like you’re sobering up as you clean up after the celebrity shindig. The whole thing feels about 45 minutes too long. Still, the musical finale is much more enjoyable than it should be. Oh, and look out for Channing Tatum.
This Is the End is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.