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This is the End

Let me preface this by saying that if you like or dislike a movie, it doesn't make you a bad person. You're free to enjoy or hate anything that you want, and I'm in no position to judge you. After all, I'm the guy who thinks “Watchmen” is overrated, so obviously my tastes are terribly skewed in some aspects.

Also, I don't follow celebrities, least of all actors. What they do off camera is frankly their own business, and I find that the less I know about them as a person, the better I can see them as the character that they're trying to play. There are exceptions of course; I will always see David Tennent as the Doctor, and I will always see Emma Watson as Hermione. The latter of those two brings me neatly into the body of this article.

I don't think This is the End is a very good movie.

Hear me out.
It's by no means a “bad” movie, and I suppose I don't regret watching it, but this movie got the absolute hell hyped out of it (no pun intended if you've seen the film) and I mainly just sat waiting for whatever earned such praise to show up. It really never came (again, not a pun for those who have seen it).

For those of you who don't know,
This is the End stars a group of celebrities playing themselves dealing with the Biblical apocalypse (or a very loose interpretation thereof). That's not a spoiler, as you should really figure that out early on when the hell-mouths start opening. The story mainly focuses on Jay Baruchel, who has come to L.A. In the hopes of salvaging his friendship with Seth Rogen, who he feels has let Hollywood change him. They're at a party at the house of James Franco when the apocalypse starts. With the world crumbling around them, the group, which also includes Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson, must try to survive the endtimes, and the company of one another.

I'll start by going through some of the positives. Little scenes can be good, like when dealing with Michael Cera. Individual jokes can get a chuckle. Craig Robinson (of Hot Tub Time Machine) is a supremely funny guy.

That's a rather short paragraph, I know, but those are all things worth mentioning. But, its time for why I did not view this as a great film. Firstly, the plot has a strange feeling of going from dragging its feet to overcompensating and rushing way too fast. While individual lines and jokes can be funny, whole scenes rarely are, and many of them drag jokes that weren't especially funny to begin with out to the point that they're just painful. The Emma Watson scene is a perfect example of this, but as the film is so new I won't spoil why.
You will be making this face by the end.


So why the warning? Well, I think this movie could have been accurately titled Dick Jokes and Demons...followed by more dick jokes. One of the most dragged out scenes is where James Franco and Danny McBride are screaming back and forth, arguing over how McBride ejaculated onto Franco's pornographic magazine. Does that sound funny enough to warrant a joke? No? Well, prepare for an entire scene of it. A long scene. A scene that never seems to end. A scene they reference again over, and over, over.
Basically, if I had to sum up the movie, it would be “here's the apocalypse. Celebrities are assholes and penises are hilarious.” Never before have I seen such a diverse rainbow of phallus related jokes. There are subtle ones, overt ones, visual gags, shock value gags, the list goes on.
And they rarely made me crack a smile.

Comedy is about setup. Its about building an expectation, and then dashing it. Storytelling as well relies on a buildup. It relies on things to be set up and foreshadowed, so that when there is a payoff it can be satisfying to the viewer. The biggest nail in the coffin of This is the End, to me, was its failure at setup and payoff. Jokes are just thrown around and dragged out, rarely set up in a substantial way. If you go watch that movie, just keep that in mind when the ending roles around.

You'll know what I'm talking about.