Initially when I saw the preview for Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s horror/comedy, This is the End, I had little desire to see it. With a cast of popular comedic actors all playing themselves (a practice that usually ends up becoming more self-indulgent than entertaining) I worried this romp would end up too silly. I’m happy to report that, while it certainly was silly at times, it also managed to stay consistently funny!
The film takes place at a house warming party being held by James Franco who, aside from decorating his new domicile with all kinds of less-than-subtle sexually charged works of art, features an architectural design more fitting of a bunker. This is an aspect that will later prove ideal as the story progresses.
Guests of the party include such names as Rihanna, Emma Watson, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Seth Rogen and a whole lot more, ALL playing themselves. Rogen brings along his house guest, actor Jay Baruchel, who’s less than thrilled to be there. Apparently Rogen and Baruchel were close friends who’ve grown apart and Baruchel feels a celebration at the home of the pretentious Franco (whom Rogen has been closer to these days) will do nothing to rebuild their strained friendship.
The party is suddenly interrupted when The Rapture – yes, that historic event leading to The Apocalypse as foretold by The Bible!
For those less savvy with Biblical prophecies, The Rapture involves God bringing up all the believers/good people straight to Heaven, thus sparing them from the Hell on Earth below. For those less fortunate, it’s a final chance to prove themselves worthy of salvation lest they become demon food instead.
Not surprisingly…our friends in the Hollywood set don’t make the first cut.
Instead many of them fall victim to the second wave of God’s onslaught and are either swallowed up by the Earth or charbroiled in mountains (The Hollywood Hills) of fire.
The survivors include Franco, Rogen, Hill, Robinson, Baruchel…and party crasher Danny McBride (who often steals the show). That aforementioned “self-indulgence” I mentioned is definitely a feature here but, in this instance, is the entire point. Watching the pampered celebs try and survive amid a shortage of food, hordes of demons, as well as each other often proves hilarious and, with all respect to Mr. Trump, beats out any reality show featuring celebs.