This is the End (d. Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen USA 2013)

This is the End (d. Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen USA 2013)

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This is the end is a comedy that plays upon a Christian apocalypse. People are raptured. There is fire, brimstone and winged bull things. The film boasts a cast that has become rather prominent in recent years. Seth Rogan (Superbad (d. Greg Mottola USA 2007), Pineapple Express (d. David Gordon Green USA 2008)) Michael Cera (Superbad, Scott Pilgrim Vs the World (d. Edgar Wright USA/UK/Canada/Japan 2010)) Jonah Hill (Superbad21 Jump Street (d. Phil Lord, Chris Miller USA 2012)) James Franco (Pineapple Express, Spider-Man (d. Sam Raimi USA 2002)) and, slightly unexpectedly, Emma Watson (Famous for a film series not worth mentioning!). Far from a film centred on their performances, this film boasts special effects and a good script. Instead of indulging in these actors the script plays with them. ‘Hey, Seth Rogan, why are you always playing the same character?’ (Forgive the spoiler: but it is one of the first jokes!). However, as expected of a film with these actors, drink, drugs and teen movie humour is rampant throughout. But it is not limited to this. One of the films high points definitely includes these characters playing ‘themselves’.

 

I would love to believe that these actors definitely played themselves. It’s nice to think that one may actually be the idiot or the self-obsessed man he portrays himself as. But, I know better. This is beside the point. How you know these actors is through the characters they play and here they take these typecasts and play it for fun. You think that that guys sweet, well maybe he’s a ‘party hard’ dick in real life. You think this one’s smart, well look at him struggling to do a basic task. In a day and age where we are obsessed with the celebrities, it is a lot of fun and very funny, to see them as anything but what we usually see. And it’s also fun to see them die. (Not a spoiler, you had to know some die!) This humour is both interesting and refreshing. Whereas most films parody other films, it is oddly unique to see them parody themselves and it is hilarious! (Odd since it should happen more often).

 

If we consider the narrative for a moment, it can be predictable. Many films have been known to give hints to how the rest of the film will toss and turn later on. It’s not always obvious. Reservoir Dogs(d. Quentin Tarantino USA 1992) Orange (Tim Roth) quickly telling that Pink (Steve Buscemi) is the man who didn’t tip, being a hint about his character relevant to later on in the film. Not obvious until you think about it. Similar moments can be seen here, unless you’re quick to pick up on this kind of thing, a second viewing will have you saying ‘ohhh that foreshadows this’. Predictable? Slightly. But this isn’t a main concern of the film. If the humour keeps with you, then it doesn’t matter. If you can see it as being silly and playing on these clichés, then who cares if you saw it coming or not?

 

Recent trend in pop culture, is gross out comedy. Variations on girls and cups – for horrendous examples. Similar to this, going too far on the damn right offensive jokes. These actors have definitely explored similar humour before. If not being quite so brutal. Considering some of the initial jokes, I felt like some later jokes held back on this trend. Allowing you to see a bit much to push us, wasn’t something they kept throughout. A shame.

 

This film was really quite funny. It pushed a new type of boundary of playing with the celebrity fixations. For these reasons, I’m positive. I realise that humour is incredibly subjective and I honestly would like to see what people make of it who dislike anything with a similar humour. This will show how powerful the film really is. I would like to think that, with the exploration of uncommon ground, it does well as a film. I would also hope that it doesn’t make anyone think that these are true representations of people nowadays. It’s playing for fun.

 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

Official Site

Interview

Interview 2

James Franco

Emma Watson

Spoilers in a look at a joke or two



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