By Chuck Graham, TucsonStage.com
“This Is The End” really is an expansion (with more celebrity comedians) of a nine-minute short film Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg made six years ago called "Seth and Jay Versus the Apocalypse." Once you know that, everything else just falls into place.
It’s also true the first half has all the jokes and the second half has all the hokey special effects portraying such end-of-the-world events as heavenly raptures and massive mass destruction as ridiculously extreme as the riffing joke routines James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel and Rogen love to push way beyond the absolutely unbelievable.
If these routines were any more outlandish they would be out there beyond outer space. As it is, some of them will still make you feel a little dizzy with disbelief.
Michael Cera and the ever-game Emma Watson stop by for some fizzy cameos, as well.
Taking a page (make it a chapter) from the Adam Sandler book of movie making, Rogen and Goldberg want it to look like they got a bunch of their high profile buddies together and made a movie…just because they could.
Which is exactly what it looks like – home movies of guys acting like guys – only these guys are rich and famous. And then they weave in a rock star musical’s worth of special digital effects…which also take great joy in looking way beyond merely extreme.
It does take a little while to get everything set up. Rogen and Goldberg must have promised a lot of friends they could be in this movie. “This Is The End” begins in Rogen’s house, and then moves to Franco’s palatial pad of modern slab design, where there is a humongous party.
Please note: if you attend a party on this scale of robust excess on the same night the world ends, it could take awhile before anyone realizes the world is actually ending pretty much how the Book of Revelations predicted it.
So once we get through all of that, and our six comedy heroes realize God is intent on destroying everything, they are pretty well panicked. There is just nothing like the end of the world to focus your attention.
As you would expect, this dire situation brings out the best and worst of each of them. While none of the humor is particularly insightful (read: gross, sick, disgusting, etc) it can be pretty funny for the adolescent mind of any age.
You can draw your own conclusions why there are no women at this party at the end of Earth itself, where God is intent on purifying humanity and taking only the most deserving to be with Him in Paradise.