This comes as a surprise to me, but I actually really liked this movie. Like a lot. Like I’m considering buying it when it comes out on Blu-ray and setting it perhaps a shelf or two below my hallowed copies of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
I honestly have not been that much of a Seth Rogen fan before. And to be fair, I’m not generally that into comedy movies. (This, despite the fact that my favorite movie ever–Hot Fuzz–is a comedy.) I have a low tolerance for gross humor, which seems like a button that often gets punched in comedy movies, particularly American ones. Look yes, I get that character X has some profound flatulence, could we move on? And so on.
Don’t get me wrong. There is some gross-out stuff in This Is the End. And plenty of dick jokes. And dicks, most of them attached to terrifying CGI demons. But it was an order of magnitude less about dicks than I actually expected. And (I never thought I would type this sentence in my life but all things truly are possible on the internet) I think the dicks on the demons were perfect. It added the twist of the ridiculous.
And let me be clear. There were dick jokes and rape jokes and gay jokes and race jokes and basically the full rainbow of offensive humor. If you want to avoid movies with that sort of thing in it, this one’s not for you.
But what was truly funny for me about This Is the End was the actors playing caricatures of themselves as mind-meltingly shallow and pathetically unable to cope as possible. I realized that I was going to get something far better than I expected when, at the very beginning of the movie Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel are driving and talking about the evils of gluten. Jay accuses Seth of not even knowing what gluten is. Seth comes to the conclusion that gluten is a catch-all term for anything that’s bad for you in food, including calories. And then cut to Seth and Jay eating giant Carl’s Junior hamburgers.
And James Franco wins everything by playing the most pretentious asshole version of James Franco imaginable, and with obvious glee.
Maybe that’s what it is; I like it when people don’t take themselves seriously, and that’s much of the meat in this movie. That, and amazing dance number that I will not spoil for you, but I almost peed my pants laughing.
I thought it was hilarious. Mike actually really liked it as well, and he has an even lower tolerance for comedy movies than I do. I think the last time I saw him laugh this hard in a movie was during Cabin in the Woods at the jumping the motorcycle over the chasm scene, and now everyone who knows Mike is nodding wisely because yes, of course he would have hysterics over that. But anyway, if we both found it funny, you might as well. I can’t guarantee that, since humor is such an individual thing, but it could well be worth a try.
Now I’m just waiting for The World’s End. Come to me, my pretty. Come to me.