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Unique take on the apocalypse
on December 22, 2013
Hollywood has made millions out of dramatizing the pending apocalypse, but what if the apocalypse were to happen in Hollywood itself? Like, for real.
Well, Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg think they know what it would be like and, in “This is the End,” they’ve gathered some of the industry’s hottest young stars - James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, and Rogan himself, all playing themselves - to illustrate it for us.
The question is: how do these guys - who get paid mega-bucks to essentially play at make-believe all day - do when confronted with a real-life crisis, one designed to test their mettle and their basic humanity, in which courage, heroism, self-sacrifice, quick thinking and dexterity with firearms may be the keys to survival? Turns out, just about as well as the rest of us mere mortals would. And that’s the kernel upon which Rogan and Goldberg build their affectionate satire, as the boys hunker down in James Franco’s pad in the Hollywood Hills to try and ride out biblical doomsday in all its high-tech/CGI/matte-painted glory.
The filmmakers capture the pampered movie star lifestyle with canny accuracy: the orgiastic partying, the drinking and casual drug use, the conspicuous consumption, rampant self-indulgence and egotism run amok. Is it any wonder, then, that none of these Hollywood types are deemed worthy of being sucked up in the rapture, but are instead left behind to fend for themselves and to think long and hard about why they couldn’t go with all those other good people? And are they truly past redemption or is there some way to still make amends for a life poorly lived so that they too can take that light beam shuttle to the sky?
In addition to the leads, fellow celebrities Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, Paul Rudd, Rihanna, Channiing Tatum and The Backstreet Boys make cameo appearances either before or after the cataclysmic event.
Deftly blurring that fine line between fact and fiction, this super-meta movie features fun, self-deprecating performances and a sly and knowing script laced with amusing parodies of sci-fi/horror and action movie cliches.
Clever and amusing.