If “This is the End” wasn’t centered around some of the most popular stars and comic figures of this generation, it would have had much less substance to lean on. Its’ hidden points of humor are pure satire of the Book of Revelation and parody of horror films, which is the basis for the loose story.
“This is The End” starts out like any other comedy stoner movie like “Pineapple Express”–Seth Rogan and Jay Baruchel lighting up and then going to a party at James Franco’s house. It is this start which packs so many unexpected appearances that your head will spin. Paul Rudd, Emma Watson, Kevin Hart, Michael Cera, Rhianna, Aziz Ansari, and later Channing Tatum are the most well known. When the end is upon them at this party, the survivors end up being James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson. If you isolate that group in a room to interact, you’ll get what this movie exactly is–a bunch of hilarious mini interactions that have little to do with anything.
You won’t realize it until later, but much of the movie is making fun of the ridiculous things described in apocalyptic visions from religious text and leaders–things like beams of light sucking up the righteous, the devil roaming the earth, and demons stalking the wasteland. Then there is well pulled parody of other horror/apocalyptic movies like “The Exorcist” and “Paranormal Activity” to boot.
In my review for “World War Z” I talked about the difficulty of end of the world films to actually end. “This Is the End” ignores that trial and finishes at whatever pace it feels like ending at, which is easy for a comedy to do, and reaches a desired medium much better.
“This Is the End” is easily the funniest movie of the year so far, if only for it’s well received cast with an abundance of self referencing awareness and random extras. Without that core recognizable element, this large budget comedy story would still have been a decent satirical piece in its own right, though much less entertaining.