There are many good laughs to be had in This Is the End—perhaps the first apocalypse movie centering around a Hollywood brat pack—but the best moment comes when pop star Rihanna slaps the ever-loving shit out of Arrested Development's Michael Cera. It is a slap for the ages, and so very, very gratifying. It's worth the price of admission alone. Lucky for you, a lot more fun follows.
Playing heightened versions of themselves, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride find themselves at one of Franco's Hollywood parties when the mother of biblical apocalypses goes down. Fiery sinkholes open to engulf partygoers such as Aziz Ansari and Paul Rudd, while a presumed God sucks the righteous—of which there aren't so many in Hollywood—into heaven. Inside the house, the bros' deep homoerotic love for each other breaks down as demons try to break in annnnnd... hilarity ensues!
It's not exactly a profound comedy—the laughs come primarily from mining the stereotypical foibles of Hollywood actors, whom we all love to assume are egotistical, spoiled, shallow, and more than a little fey. (In truth, they hit the "fey" angle a bit too hard, occasionally teetering on homophobia.) And while the incessant—but mostly hilarious—dick jokes may grow tiresome by the reel, there is a sweet story of brotherhood beneath it all, as well as the belief that we can all be better people.
And lo and behold, This is the End sports something 90 percent of all movies lack—a fantastic ending. As Craig Robinson says when he learns God and the Rapture actually exist: "Who saw that coming?" Certainly not Michael Cera, who was on the receiving end of that glorious, heavenly slap.
This Is the End
dirs. Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen Opens