‘This is the End’ review: A new classic is born

maxresdefaultIt would be easy to simply write off This is the End as a vanity project. Seth Rogan and writer/producer Evan Goldberg have some success, and suddenly they form a modern day Rat Pack, filled with other up and comers in the comedy scene. They get together, have some laughs, turn in a film, and then go home. On paper it sounds much like the original Ocean’s 11. Unlike that original, mediocre Rat Pack film though, This is the End is very good. In fact, it’s one of the best comedies in years. So naturally there are going to be a lot of people that hate it.

this-is-the-endIt’s a good thing that people in Hollywood like Rogan and Goldberg. If not, the salaries alone in This is the End would be ruinously high. If every one of the actors that appear, including the ones in cameos, were paid their market value, if they all got together and decided to donate that money to medical research, they could cure death. There are a lot of talented people in this film beyond just the headliners. But once you get past the novelty of dozens of famous people playing caricatures of themselves, the stars really began to shine even beyond the meta-humor. 

The heart of the film is the relationship between longtime friends Seth Rogan and Jay Baruchel. Their friendship has been complicated by distance, as Baruchel remains in Canada while Rogan lives in LA and has a new set of friends. When Baruchel comes to town to hang out, Rogan drags him to a housewarming party at James Franco’s. Then the world ends.

The apocalypse comes to LA, and only a handful of partygoers survive the initial destruction. Franco’s new house becomes a sanctuary for Rogan, Baruchel, Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride, all who play themselves. Going into details beyond that would steal some of the surprises, of which there are many. There is a touch of horror thrown as well for good measure.

this-is-the-end (1)The characters interact in continually hilarious ways as they make their way through their remaining supplies of water, food, and so many drugs. The film is not for kids in any way, which almost guarantees that kids are going to love it, and remember it fondly for years to come. That alone will probably breed some controversy, but the religious backdrop of the Christian apocalypse will certainly rub some people the wrong way.  

This is the End is a comedy classic in the making, and a calling card for all those involved. Rogan and Goldberg in their directorial debut put forth a remarkable offering, but it really comes down to the ensemble cast, all of whom have moments that stand out. They also play off their own images brilliantly. Jonah Hill is a nice guy, almost to a pathological degree; Danny McBride is selfish on a whole new level; Craig Robinson is sweeter than he wants to admit; James Franco is every bad thing ever said about James Franco. It’s Rogan and Baruchel that have the most significant story arc though.

Beneath the apocalyptic tale, it is a story about their friendship. It isn’t heavy handed, and generally just helps to fuel the comedy. It just gives the audience a central focus, especially when the third act begins and the film goes in yet another, unpredictable (but not unwelcome) direction. This, by the way, leads to one of the best and most surprising cameos in recent years. You’ll know it when you see it.


If you like all the actors in the film, then your respect for them will only grow. If you are on the fence about them, however, they will win you back; especially Rogan and Franco, who allow themselves to be the butt of so, so many jokes. And not just the random “Rogan is fat” or “Franco is pretentious” jokes, but some really scathing portrayals.

And sweet gods, then there’s Michal Cera in a small, but incredibly memorable role. Emma Thompson also has a few important moments, but Cera goes all in with his performance.

The bottom line is that This is the End is hilarious from start to finish. There are things that could be easily pointed to as proof of that, but the less you know about the jokes, the better. A word of advice though: if you plan to see it, do it sooner rather than later. People will be quoting lines from it ad nauseam very soon.


The rampant drug use and general bad behavior could make This is the End a lightning rod for criticism. The religious themes that are hinted at are sure to draw some ire as well, even though they are little more than background and never really delved into. That won’t matter to some who will take it as an opportunity to yell at something they disagree with. Ignore them.

This is the End is the funniest movie of the year, and one of the funniest in years. There isn’t anything that is really close to it. Go see it. 


The Army wants YOU … to play esports with soldiers

The U.S. Army is creating esports teams for games such as Overwatch, Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and League of Legends. The initiative looks to boost recruitment, after missing the mark for the first time since 2005.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Check out 30 of the best iPhone games you need to be playing

The iPhone has some of our favorite games available for any mobile platform. Here are the best iPhone games for every big-name genre, whether you're into puzzles, strategy, or something else entirely.

If the speed of AMD’s Radeon RX 590 doesn’t entice you, the game bundle will

AMD's Radeon RX 590 is a new video card that targets 1080p gaming at maximum detail. Starting at $280, it fills a gap between the Radeon RX 580 and the more expensive Radeon RX Vega. AMD says the new RX 590 can beat Nvidia's GTX 1060 Ti.

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

PlayStation 4 celebrates fifth anniversary with ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ bundle

The PlayStation 4 is officially five years old today, November 15, and to celebrate the anniversary, Sony is offering a new console bundle that includes a free copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

‘Hitman 2’ makes a target of the unkillable Sean Bean, but you’d better not miss

Famously mortal actor Sean Bean will be available to kill in Hitman 2 beginning November 20. He'll be in the game as an Elusive Target for two weeks and you'll only get one chance to take him out.

Bug is turning ‘Fallout 76’ players into mutants even more terrifying than usual

A bug linked to the Power Armor gear in Fallout 76 appears to be turning players into bizarre naked mutants, complete with extremely long limbs that are more than a little unsettling.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

Tips for surviving the nuclear wasteland in 'Fallout 76'

Before running into nuclear wasteland with your Pip-Boy, take a moment to consider these Fallout 76 tips. From food and water to maintaining weapons and armor, here are the things all beginners should know.

Find a fish and get your boogie on with Fortnite's week 8 challenge

The Fortnite season 6 week 8 challenges have arrived as we near the end of this spooky season. The big free challenge this week is the Fortnite fish trophy challenge where you need to dance with different fishes. Here are all of the…