This Is The End (TheByteScene Review)

Date: September 9th, 2013


This Is The End

3.5 Drug-Fueled-Apocalyptic-Nightmares out of 4

Everybody likes comedy – that’s not a statement that anyone can really argue with. Everyone likes to laugh in whatever way one may choose, and therefore everyone likes the idea of comedy. Everyone, however, does not like the same kind of comedy because toilet humour and incessant references to popular culture isn’t funny for some in the same way that it is for others. That being said, make no mistake, everyone likes comedy. That Arnold Schwarzenegger claims to love comedy during YouTube’s comedy week shouldn’t come as a surprise since Arnie is human, and therefore likes laughing.

This Is The End opens with Seth Rogen waiting for Jay Baruchel (both playing – hopefully – loose versions of themselves) in an airport. The friends are supposed to spend the weekend together, but due to personal friction, and Rogen’s career taking off faster than Baruchel’s, the two end up attending a party at James Franco’s house. The party is played as a hedonistic affair with comedians and Hollywood B-D listers appearing as inversions of characters they frequently typecast. Eventually the entire affair falls apart due to an unearthly seismic event, and James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson are left awaiting rescue because they are, after all, famous movie stars.

The fact of the matter is that comedy is an artform that’s really easy to quantify. If the audience is laughing, then something is funny, if the audience isn’t then a similar extrapolation can be made. I should mention that This Is The End, a film described as watching James Franco, Seth Rogen, and the new Frat Pack fall apart in a post-apocalyptic nightmare, is funny. In fact it’s very funny. It’s so funny actually, that it actually made me physically upset. Well, not physically upset, but as upset as I could be watching Danny-McBride-as-himself-as-Kenny-Powers dance around the screen like a morbid, alcoholic, narcissistic pixie.

Suffice it to say, this is a funny movie that’s absurd, unnecessarily over-the-top, moronic, engaging, sweet, and morbid all at once, but it still upset me.

This Is The End is not a parody of recent hollywood horror movies. Calling it a parody would be an insult to itself because A Haunted House is a parody of the recent horror genre, and these two movies are in no way related. This Is The End is a remarkably intelligent satire of the horror movie genre, while also rising to the level of being a satire of the many genre parodies that already exist. I daresay that This Is The End is the Airplane of horror movies; taking genre staples and playing with them, instead of making fun of them for their already obvious absurdity, This Is The End is able to be a satirical film while simultaneously existing as a true horror movie. Seriously, it manages to be scary and funny without sacrificing either horror or comedy.

Ultimately, a horror movie literally lives and dies due to the actions of its cast. If the characters are poorly written, or they’re written to act in irrational ways, then the movie falls apart because it’s no longer about being scared but watching stupid people do stupid things.

In a twist on this convention, the main cast does nothing but stupid things. They smoke pot, get drunk, flagrantly waste supplies, fight amongst each other, form schisms and alliances, and lead themselves to downfall and subsequent success. What’s remarkable is that these stupid people do and say stupid things, but they’re also very realistic, very human characters.

Yes, Danny McBride rudely uses James Franco’s stuff. Yes Seth Rogen spikes Jay Baruchel’s drink can with ecstasy. Yes Jay Baruchel hates Jonah Hill because the latter is supposedly faking his benevolent demeanor, but while they waste their time bickering amongst each other (and thereby producing genuine humour), they also force themselves to work together to survive – existing in a horrific landscape and providing the necessary horror to satirize.

These fake people act in moronic, self-destructive ways, while simultaneously working to benefit each other.

This movie upsets me because of how good it is. This movie upsets me because it proves that satire is not a dead literary form, nor is it a dying form. This movie upsets me because it raises the bar for other, similar movies, in ways that other movies can in no way replicate without becoming derivative or shallow. In summation, this movie upsets me because it’s a perfect representation of everything that’s right and great about comedy.

As always, this has been your Admin, the blogger; comment, subscribe, and criticize, and DO remember! Always look on the BYTE side of life!


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