BY EMILY GAGNE
This is a story. A story of a night where unspoken dreams came in the form of a truly unreal cinematic experience full of insanely uncharacteristic celebrity cameos, epic bromances and GINORMOUS-ly satisfying dick jokes.
When I first saw the trailer for This Is The End, the recently released apocalypse-set comedy written by, directed by and starring Seth Rogen (co-writing/directing credits go to his old friend and fellow Superbad, Pineapple and Green Hornet writer Evan Goldberg), I honestly thought that I was being epically played and/or spied on while sleeping. I mean, where, other than in my wildest sexy dreams, could Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson possibly be allowed to play extremely over-the-top versions of themselves whilst fighting off an angry Emma Watson, a coked up Michael Cera (yes, I said “coked up Michael Cera”) and the oncoming end of the world? In the most riproarious, ridiculous and rightfully self-righteous movie of the year, apparently.
I am in no way joking when I say that This Is The End may be the be-all, end-all comedy of 2013. In fact, it could very well be the best comedy I’ve seen in the past several years. I cannot remember another film of recent that had me in hysterics from start to finish. I mean, I literally had to be shuffled out of the theatre by my equally wheezing friend as the credits rolled. Otherwise, I would have just sat there cackling until the Cineplex cleaners came in and kicked me out (or, if the clean-up crew took pity on me, until the next showing started).
This Is The End is an explosive combination of Apatow crew in-jokes (there may or may not be a sequence that reveals what could have happened in Pineapple Express 2), image-skewering (seriously, wait until you see Cera be everything but the cluelessly Canadian sweetheart we’ve come to known), bro-bonding (Faux Franco and Faux Rogen have a truly freaky and geeky relationship), top-notch Armageddeon-related jokes (how in the living hell do you decide how to split the final Milky Way known to man?) and surprisingly awesome CGI (prepare to get slapped with generously computer generated cock). And the best part of it is, every single person — from triple threat-er Rogen to the endless array of super surprise guest stars — involved seems 100 per cent game for each and every laugh, especially the ones designed at their expense.
Although the flick is really an ensemble piece, as the boys work together to keep it together following a disastrous, rapture-rocked party at James Franco’s Hollywood mansion, which sees dozens of their well-known on- and off-screen pals descend into a fiery pit, each character has at least one moment to shine (read: melt down in a so-them way). McBride and Hill have very particular lots of fun, playing extremely heightened versions of the worst possible versions of themselves. One interaction between a furiously feuding Faux McBride and Faux Franco will have you reaching for your Robinson replica shoulder towel repeatedly, so you can wipe your face clean of laugh-tears (and other fluids).
Amongst all the dude-dementary humour and meta-morphases, there are some sections of slight seriousness, with BFFs Rogen and Baruchel bringing up relatively big questions with regards to morality, religion and, most importantly, friendship. I attribute these moments to Rogen’s little-seen, but definitely apparent sensitive side, best evidenced in select episodes of Freaks and Geeks and the criminally underappreciated Take This Waltz, a Sarah Polley flick from last year which saw Rogen play a chicken-cooking cuckold to Michelle Williams. These meaningful bits are what justify the totally insane end, which you will likely have to see at least three times to full believe, but only once to get down (and move it all around) with.
Surely some people will argue — as they do with every Apatow-related flick — that with its 2-hour run time, This Is The End goes on twenty minutes or so too long. I couldn’t disagree more. If I had my way, This Is The End would have never, ever come to an end.