Sunday, 15 September 2013

This Is the End (2013)

So someone in this group has a hard for The Backstreet Boys, well lets call it a guilty pleasure shall we. Best mates Rogen and Goldberg have written many films together and this time they decided to simply make a film which included all their other best mates...and have a blast (is this really work for these people??).

Enter Franco, Hill, McBride, Robinson and Baruchel (along with Rogen) as they all play themselves (so to speak) in LA for a lively house party. Along for the ride we see cameos from Cera, Segel, Tatum, Ansari, Watson, Mintz-Plasse, Kaling, Rudd, Hart and errr...Rihanna? (someone must have a hard on for her).

So most of the cast from various Rogen/Goldberg flicks are here along with a few of their friends and some of the cast from 'The Office'. During this party at Franco's house there are big earthquakes as the world slowly comes to an end and lots of people end up being killed off. This sequence is one of the better parts of the film as you various stars getting killed and their precious little world of LA getting burnt to a cinder. Dunno what some of these people would do without LA because we all know they can't bare to be away from it for real.

From here on its a survival flick with a small bunch of guys enduring a nightmare scenario during the apocalypse...but with a dark comedy twist. The whole idea is kinda interesting but at first I found myself not liking most of the 'characters'. They are suppose to be playing themselves but of course its hyped do kinda wonder though, how close to the bone these performance are. I'm sure these film stars lives aren't too far off this angle, regular parties/get together's in their big mansions, weed, booze (to a degree), sexy girls on call, spending crazy amounts of money on weird interior decorations that only the mega rich could even dream of affording, does make you roll your eyes.

As the film progresses it does get better and more like a spoof or parody of horror/action flicks, kinda like 'Army of Darkness' maybe. That kind of low budget trashy nonsense where you can just roll with the silliness and have fun. The only difference here is the film isn't low budget, it looks pretty slick in the devastation sequences and has some nice demonic CGI beasties too. Of course there are plenty of B-movie moments which are cool, mainly the deaths which are deliberately over the top and bloody, a few predictable rips from other movies and of course the dialog is totally slapstick. The whole thing actually felt very much like a live action version of the 'South Park' movie from 1999. The big red magma fella in the finale with his huge schlong swinging right in front of the camera! see what I mean.

On the one hand I did enjoy these guys talking about their previous flicks, comparing sequences, making homemade sequels when they were bored, sticking in old props and generally taking the piss out of each other. But on the other hand, after a time the whole thing does seem to feel a bit self-conceited, these guys are laughing at themselves sure...but are they really? it does come across as a bit of a vanity project, call me cynical, but end of the day we all know these folk love talking about themselves and their films.

When the film is getting stuck into the plot and not revolving around the stars filmographies it can be a fun flick. There are some great dialog conflicts here and there, the cum dialog sequence between Franco and McBride springs to mind and I quite liked how Hill mentions that the rescue services will come for them first because they are big movie stars (deep down they all probably actually believe that). Not too sure if its just LA that gets destroyed in the story or the whole world though, thought it was LA because of the earthquake prone area but unsure, I'm guessing its the whole world.

Its funny though, certain cast members play the same type of characters you'd expect. McBride is the untrustworthy schmuck like he always is, so hardly playing himself really, Franco is kinda underhanded and is Jonah Hill gay??. Any who the film is reasonably enjoyable at times yet a bit self indulgent I think. This could of been a more straight up dark comedy fantasy without all the self promotion and pointless buddy cameos (they love this in-house stuff no matter how self depreciating, don't kid yourself), it still would have worked well. I think you gotta like this particular bunch of actors basically, I do like Rogen, Cera, Hill and McBride so it was passable for me. If you don't get on with these guys then this probably isn't the film for you.