This is the End Blu-ray Review
How great would it be to get all of your friends together to make a movie and then kill them off one by one? If you’re Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the answer is pretty great. The writing duo that have in some capacity, touched several comedies over the years, one of which was the incredibly funny SUPERBAD, have delivered another hilarious comedy that is virtually guaranteed to make you laugh. There’s no deeper theme with THIS IS THE END or heartwarming charm that you might expect from the Apatow disciples, but the purpose of a comedy is to make you laugh and with that in mind, THIS IS THE END is a rousing success.
When Jay Baruchel returns to LA to hang out with his best friend Seth Rogen, things get awkward when Seth wants to go to a party at James Franco’s house. But the awkwardness doesn’t last long because soon after they arrive, the apocalypse occurs. And yes, this is the apocalypse from the Bible, complete with bodies getting sucked up to heaven, fireballs crashing to earth and of course, a giant, fire-breathing demon. This is the end indeed. As the apocalypse reigns down, we see many of our favorite actors plummet to their death. In fact, everyone but Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride meet their end at the beginning of the apocalypse. From there, we follow the six friends as they cope with the events and each other.
I can’t pinpoint a highlight of the film because I laughed out loud pretty consistently throughout. I enjoyed the pre-apocalypse scenes at the party where actors like Jason Segel, Kevin Hart and Michael Cera had a chance to shine. You haven’t seen funny until you’ve seen a coked-out Michael Cera at a party. I could easily sit through a two hour movie strictly focused on that party. While most Rogen-Goldberg comedies tend to sputter in the third act, THIS IS THE END does get a little slow in the last half of the film. But it more than makes up for it with the group trying to get into heaven and it has a nice ending that once again had me laughing.
I had concerns initially about Danny McBride and Craig Robinson because I find that McBride is constantly overused in movies while Robinson is almost always underused in his. Thankfully, they used McBride perfectly and he provided some much needed conflict as the group was trapped in the house together. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the movie wouldn’t have been as good without him. Craig Robinson has a way of making everything he says funny and he once again provides several memorable lines, most notably, “actors are soft like baby poop”. One of the things that really worked in the film was each actor playing up their reputations and public perceptions. They weren’t making fun of themselves, but I loved that they didn’t take themselves too seriously.
Although it lacks the heart of films like SUPERBAD, KNOCKED-UP and others, THIS IS THE END might arguably be the funniest comedy we’ve seen in recent years. That’s saying a lot, but for pure laughs, THIS IS THE END is a gem. I do feel I need to warn viewers that THIS IS THE END may not be for everyone. It’s vulgar, unapologetic and can be offensive to the more sensitive viewers. However, even though it needed a little more heart and a less over the top ending, it’s hilarious to the point of being great. I can’t imagine a Blu-ray collection complete without THIS IS THE END.
Video: There’s nothing special about the video presentation of THIS IS THE END, but it provides a stable, acceptable transfer.
Audio: The audio is great, utilizing all of the channels well at the right times.
Commentary with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg: You should know by now if you like Seth Rogen and if the answer is yes, then you’ll love this track. Rogen and Goldberg are good friends, of course, and this is like sitting in a room watching the movie with them.
Directing Your Friends (6:27): Rogen and Goldberg talk about working with their friends.
Let’s Get Technical (10:43): This is a nice, quick featurette about the style of the film and some of the more CGI-laden scenes.
Meta-apocalypse (7:41): The main actors talk about playing themselves in THIS IS THE END.
Party Time (15:53): A dedicated featurette to James Franco’s house party scene.
The Cannibal King (4:23): There’s a surprise cameo at the end and this has a nice look at that person and Danny McBride talking on set.
The Making of ‘The Pineapple Express 2’ (6:21): The group gets bored and makes a homemade sequel to THE PINEAPPLE EXPRESS. This is a featurette on that scene.
Jay and Seth vs The Apocalypse (9:57): THIS IS THE END is based on the short film that Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel made several years ago. This is that film.
Line-o-rama (12:47): This takes a few scenes and shows us some of the rapid, impromptu exchanges between the actors. I liked what was in the film better and this tended to drag on a bit.
Gag reel (6:12): With this many comedians, it’s hard to miss with a gag reel.