If the world was coming to an end, there would be no better place to be than the house party of James Franco. Imagine partying with Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and a whole bunch of other celebrities. If the world were to come to an end, at least you’d go out with a bang.
This is the End follows those who attend Franco’s party as they attempt to survive the fire and brimstone that erupt from the Hollywood Hills. I’m not talking about some character that James Franco is portraying, either. Everyone in the film is an alter ego of themselves, and they have no problem having a laugh at their own careers. Much of the comedy comes from the fact that they’re playing themselves and they’re able to crack jokes on the expense of each other. Had they simply been playing any old characters, I don’t believe they would have had the same comedic impact. There’s just something great about watching a bunch of actors trying to take inventory of what food they have left.
Danny McBride is hilarious in particular, as he’s just as caustic and egotistical as his alter ego Kenny Powers. He doesn’t care about anything or anyone and that lends itself to some great situations. He wasn’t even invited to the party so his introduction is particularly perfect.
What makes the humor works so well is that they don’t overdo self-references. Since there are so many celebrities making appearances, the film never feels like its struggling to find material. This is the End feels very much like just a bunch of stoner friends hanging out rather than a scripted comedy.
There are also plenty of cameo appearances by other celebrities, including Michael Cera and Emma Watson, especially before the world starts coming to an end. I won’t spoil the fun, but there are also a few hilarious surprises.
This is the End is brilliantly hilarious with one joke after another that doesn’t quit until the end credits roll. It’s raunchy, crude, and everything you would expect from the likes of Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen. Not only is it one of the best comedies of the year, it’s one of the best films of the year.