THIS IS THE END
(directed by Seth Rogan, 2013)
***+ (out of 5)
> This is not the end. More films like this will follow. Of course they will! They’re a box office bonanza! You know the formula: clueless, self-absorbed, ego driven, insecure, gleefully pedantic men behaving like adolescent boys in oversized bodies celebrate puerile, childish behavior in the lowest of the lowbrow humor, rife with scatological bombs and sexual (mostly homophobic) obsessions and punctuated by excessively indulgent hijinks of the most mindless and idiotic variety. Here’s the thing: A film this crass has no right being this much fun!
. Seth Rogan has crafted a knowing, self-depreciating farce that pokes fun of all his best pals, and mocks their own reputations as pampered, self-indulgent stars. This motley crew plays themselves on one very, very bad day- the kind of day, you really don’t want to survive, because survival means facing an eternity suffering in Hell! What if the Bible was literal truth, and the Judgment Day actually arrived? What if Armageddon arrived in the middle of a really swinging Hollywood party? Bummer! The Rapture takes all the good guys, reconfirming the gang’s secret suspicion that they were not in fact, very “good”. Long-simmering faultlines in the familiar coterie are tested, when they are forced to barricade themselves in James Franco’s L.A. mansion, and steel themselves against the unfolding hell that has engulfed the planet, while Jonah Hill gradually transforms into a demon in the other room. (You know: fire and brimstone from the sky, wanton murder, mayhem in the streets, rivers of lava, earthquakes swallowing up whole neighborhoods, nasty demons who want to fuck you or eat you, lots of acrid smoke- that sort of thing.) And the endgame? How do our child-men redeem themselves in the gaping maw of damnation?
. Look for an hysterically outrageous cameo from Michael Cera and… say- was that a quick glimpse of Christian Bale at the end? Definitely a guilty pleasure, I sure hope this is not the end of the inspired craziness from this profoundly profane and fatuously funny crew!
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