Wednesday 21 August 2013

Review: This is the End

Year: 2013
Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Screenplay: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Starring: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson

Synopsis is here

With This is the End I’m really at a loss. I’m not sure if it’s the cast's slow crawl to irrelevance, a weak grip on the material or my successful humour transplant. But it’s safe to say that I found this directorial d├ębut from Superbad’s Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to be something of wasted opportunity, in more ways than one.

While not completely without charm and with a better, kinder head on its shoulders than one or two of its American comedy counterparts (See The Hangover Sequels). This apocalyptic comedy suffers from weakly scripted gags and the now typical pop culture references which date the movie quicker than one would want. The film reeks of the semi-improv chicanery that is affecting so much mainstream American comedy.  I know it sounds wrong but sometimes structure, even in comedy, is nice.

It's mildly fun to see these guys poke fun at themselves (Franco as an ignorant celebrity ass is a decent idea), and one or two cameos are chucklesome. Yet so much of the film, too much, dies on its backside. Mostly because the main conflict (that Jay Baruchel dislikes how L.A has changed his best friend Seth Rogen) is poorly utilised, despite being an interesting concept. I found myself waiting for any moment Danny McBride takes the film by the scuff of the neck. He affects the film the same way Stevie Gerrard (Google it non football fans) would take hold of a Cup Final in his prime.

Weed smoking plays a large part of the humour, but it’s often like watching someone else play a video game. Unless you're involved, it doesn't feel as fun. Too often I felt like the designated driver having to maintain while the popular kids have a kick ass time at the back of my borrowed car. They're having a blast and sometimes I'm involved. In the end however they leave the vehicle in a mess. For male bonding laughs during the end of the world, you may want to seek out The World’s End.