Crimson Quill’s Appraisal #136
Number of Views: One
Release Date: June 12, 2013
Country of Origin: United States
Sub-Genre: Apocalyptic Comedy
Running Time: 107 minutes
Box office $116,893,232
Directors: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Producers: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen, James Weaver
Screenplay: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen
Based on Jay and Seth versus the Apocalypse by Jason Stone
Special Effects: Howard Berger, Greg Nicotero
Cinematography: Brandon Trost
Score: Henry Jackman
Editing: Zene Baker
Studio: Mandate Pictures, Point Grey Pictures
Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Stars: James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Emma Watson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as themselves
Suggested Audio Candy:
Cypress Hill When The Shit Goes Down
What would happen if you and a group of your ‘tightest buds’ got together, smoked a whole lot of weed, took some X, jerked off in each others’ porn stash and ate a whole lot of gluten? This Is The End is the bi-product of such an experiment. Of course, it would drag like a snake on sandpaper if the group of pals were debating team ass-cookies with all the personality of a bunch of accountants’ tea party RSVPs. When it’s Seth Rogen, Carl Robinson, Danny McBride, James Franco, Jonah Hill and Jay Baruchel you know you’re in safe hands. The safest in the industry no less.
This plays out like one big frat party with all the subtlety of Animal House and a mind rarely far from the gutter. We’re talking dick jokes, bromance, narcotic utopia, munchies, all the things guys love to engage in during their bonding sessions. It’s all relatable, I had skin mags when I was a teen (holding my bed vertical) and one of my so-called friends jizzed on my pages so when that is re-enacted on-screen with the best crop of creative comical minds this side of the wank sock, you know what you’re in store for.
If you masturbate with a cheese grater, you know you’re gonna trim the Cobb, so to speak. It may give token amusement and a thimble of arousal but ultimately its shavings of pain. Watching This Is The End is the same thing man! It does what the tin states, and not many auteurs would have the cajones to expect their shit to stay interesting for 107 minutes.
Total authenticity; they use their real personas but, as Ricky Gervais did so uproariously with Extras, they give each character a gentle spin. Let me digress; Michael Cena is here, you know the shy looking gentle Tom who looks like he couldn’t fuck the froth off a trifle? Here he is cranked up to 12, transformed marvelously into a far less awkward coke-headed deviant who spends most of his screen-time getting blown with a big dumb grin across his moushe-grill. He is a fucking thief, stealing virtually every scene he’s in and proving he ain’t that awkward. Anyone who has viewed Youth in Revolt will have been enlightened that there’s far more to this dude than Juno’s douche.
Backstreet Boys Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)
They’re all here. Jason Segal, improvisational genius Paul Rudd, fuck – even Rihanna brings her tight little touche to this ho-down. It’s a goddamn free for all. You wanna see Channing Tatum in full gimp get up, proving again that 21 Jump Street was no fluke, you’ve come to the right place. Just bring your own Milky Way.
In turn, Seth Rogen: this guy is a genius, period. Anyone culpable of tarnishing him with the ‘one trick pony’ brush is making a grave error. He just so happens to be the person you have no problem being stuck with at a shindig after your friends dissipate. He’s on point, as always, and his performance as Seth Rogen is flawless. Nuff said!
Craig Robinson: I simply cannot look at him without prolapsing, he has the most exquisite facial repertoire, from screaming like a bitch to delivering lines so poker faced Phil Hellmuth would fold. He had the best monologue in the majestic Knocked Up and delivered it with perfection, played Kenny Powers’ nemesis with plutonium paddles in Eastbound & Down and, no matter where he crops up, he just lights up the screen. Here he may well take the baloney, as he has oodles of fun taking a wry dig at the black man stereotype and many of the movie’s finest lines are delivered from his voice-box. Bona fide genius.
Danny McBride: He enters the fray just like Powers and that’s just dandy in my book. He’s so delightfully uncouth, the friend your folks prefer you ‘chat to at the door’. Boorish, arrogant, fiendish, brilliant! He keeps the tone where it should be, sub aqua. This is a group of guys left to their own devices (apocalypse looming, did I mention) and they ain’t playing UNO with a bowl of Pretzels. McBride celebrates all that is frat boy; takes a large steaming dump on the screen and we all get a sniff.
Jonah Hill: Brilliantly portrays the one most likely to spoon you at the dead of night and, moreover, the one most likely to sink a blade in your spleen while his nuts rest on your buttocks. Always a joy, I can’t even think if him without me imagining a pool ball bouncing off his temple mid-seizure.
James Franco: So comfortable in his skin its scary, he washes over us as he did in Pineapple Express. So many folk have mentioned that they’ve loved him since that film, probably because he has the most diverse résumé. In truth, he’s never more sincere than when in humorous works like this and, predictably, he’s an absolute joy to watch.
Jay Baruchel: Thinner than a Slim Jim with polio, he isn’t suffocated by the sheer girth of manpower alongside him. He’s kinda leading man here, aware of everyone else’s character defects and often appearing the voice of reason but with more going on behind the eyes than it seems.
With these six comic heavyweights on the platter, it’s time to grab a doob, settle back and enjoy the chemistry. And if that isn’t mouth-watering enough a proposition then how about these scotch eggs. There’s grue! Not just a skin nick, we talking full on impalement, dismemberments and decapitations. The shit goes down large at this shindig, and it punctuates the ‘real shit’ nicely.
I could write about this movie all day quite merrily but, this being first contact, I wish this to be an experience you can have for yourselves and go in with a clean slate. In true Keeper style, the original score I shall award in no way reflects what it will settle with after marinating and, given that Comedy stands up so well to repeat views, it will likely wind up with higher come “the end”. If any of the numerous flicks these guys have helmed have appealed to your sensibilities (how could they not) then it will please you as much as it did me. It’s perceptive, truthful (the key to their constant quality control) and the perfect stoner’s character study and I would say that for these six professionals, this is only the beginning.
Crimson Quill’s Judgement: 8/10
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Copyright: Crimson Quill: Savage Vault Enterprises 2013