‘This Is the End’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated November 15th, 2014 at 12:32 am,

this is the end rogen franco hill This Is the End Review

Die-hard fans of Rogen, Franco and their merry band of foul-mouthed misfits will probably be more forgiving of the film’s weaknesses and just relish in the sheer comedic insanity.

This Is the End is the feature directing debut for co-writers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen, based on their and Jason Stone’s 2007 short film “Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse.” The original horror-comedy short’s cast only includes Rogen and Jay Baruchel, but the full-length version adds several more celebrities – who, like the main actors, either play (semi-)heightened versions of themselves or riff on their well-known onscreen personalities.

Goldberg and Rogen’s feature debut starts with Rogen and Baruchel attending a party at James Franco’s house in Los Angeles, when a sudden – and unspecified – apocalyptic event strikes the city. Rogen, Baruchel and Franco hunker down in the latter’s home (along with Jonah Hill and Craig Robinson), in the hope of waiting things out until they are rescued. However, after a series of encounters with other celebrity survivors and the bizarre monsters residing outside, these five friends begin to wonder: could this really be the end-of-days?

this is the end movie cast This Is the End Review

Every script that Goldberg and Rogen have written to date feels like an attempt to top themselves (save perhaps for The Watch), and that trend continues with This Is the End. The final movie result this round is an outrageously crude and low-brow raunch-com that lampoons an eclectic mixture – and wide range – of pop-culture targets, often to very funny effect; unfortunately, the film’s skit-oriented structure gives rise to a series of comedic vignettes that are usually hit-or-miss. Meanwhile, the self-referential aspects can sometimes come off as too self-congratulatory in execution, and make this the least accessible of the screenwriters’ efforts to date.

Despite that, This Is the End is a solid debut for Goldberg and Rogen as directors, and an overall effective compilation of everything that people loved (or, if you’re a non-fan, hated) about their previous screenplays. The pair appear to have picked up a few useful tricks from their previous filmmaking collaborators; as a result, This Is the End has the (b)romantic heart of director Greg Mottola (Superbad) with the fanboy enthusiasm of David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express) and the surreal pop art sensibilities of Michel Gondry (The Green Hornet).

Goldberg and Rogen aim to seamlessly blend these influences together, but fall just short of doing so (and establishing their own unique identity as directors in the process). Nevertheless, their love for the film medium shows through and helps to make This Is the End an idiosyncratic pastiche of genre elements that never fully runs out of gas – despite hitting occasional speed bumps (due to the uneven script) along the way – and best recalls their approach to Pineapple Express … on steroids.

this is the end franco watson rogen This Is the End Review

Cast-wise, Rogen, Baruchel, and Franco play standard variations on their usual comedy roles (e.g. “themselves”), but aren’t really any more or less entertaining here than in their previous film and television roles. (So don’t expect this movie to change your mind about them being – or not being – enjoyable comedic actors.) Fortunately, Robinson gets to put his physical and verbal comedy skills to good use, and Hill is fun to watch because he plays against type – by portraying himself as an angelic and New Age religious-type celebrity (who, deep down, is really just another self-serving Hollywood actor).

Meanwhile, Emma Watson pops in and out, but the bits involving her fall a bit flat and mostly feel like setup for the inevitable Hermione/Harry Potter joke. Danny McBride, on the other hand, plays himself as a more obnoxious version of his Kenny Powers character from Eastbound & Down; the caricature he creates is not all that satirical, self-aware or otherwise witty, but McBride still manages to earn a few laughs. Finally, the majority of the celebrity appearances take place in the first act, but are split between amusing glorified cameos – like Michael Cera playing a drug-happy, oversexed version of himself – and throwaway gags, which involve them dying in gruesome ways.

Much of the humorous subtext for This Is the End stems from the audience’s familiarity with the cult of celebrity worship and Hollywood’s self-infatuation, which is a subject the film doesn’t so much as skewer as it just playfully nudges in the ribs (figuratively speaking). Similarly, there’s a lot of pop-culture lampooning that will resonate with children of the 1980s/90s and longtime fans of the main cast – those who watched people like Rogen and Franco grow up on the TV shows Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared - in addition to in-jokes for cinephiles, who will best understand the parody scenes and references to famous horror titles.

this is the end rogen baruchel robinson This Is the End Review

Such elements make the film feel too self-involved and esoteric at times, but overall, the good outweighs the bad. Basically, if you feel that Goldberg and Rogen deserved high grades for their earliest work (on Superbad and Pineapple Express) – and you didn’t jump off the bandwagon after Green Hornet and The Watch – then you’ve done the proper amount of homework to appreciate This Is the End.

In conclusion: Die-hard fans of Rogen, Franco and their merry band of foul-mouthed misfits will probably be more forgiving of the film’s weaknesses and just relish in the sheer comedic insanity and madness of what transpires onscreen (especially during the take-no-prisoners third act). Everyone else, well… you were probably never planning to check this one out, anyway (if you’re even reading this).

If you’re still on the fence, have a look at the This Is the End trailer:

[poll id="628"]


This Is the End is now playing in theaters. It is 107 minutes long and is Rated R for crude and sexual content throughout, brief graphic nudity, pervasive language, drug use and some violence.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

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  1. really looking forward to watching this but it comes out in a couple weeks in the uk. it looks great and i have been waiting for this for a long time. it really is my type of movie. these guys are great and every movie they are in together will always get my attention.

    • “Danny has got to go…he’s gaht to geeeooooo!”

      • That was such a hilarious part. The cumming banter was great too.

    • Can you explain why i had to watch a 30 second add to see a trailer?

      • So the editor can have some money to eat?

  2. What a horrible review. Did you think it was gonna win an academy award or something. Were you expecting a riveting and shocking plot, if so your should not be reviewing movies like this.

    “Die-hard fans of Rogen, Franco and their merry band of foul-mouthed misfits will probably be more forgiving of the film’s weaknesses and just relish in the sheer comedic insanity and madness….” This is supposed to be a dumb comedy, what weakness is there?

    If anyone goes to see this without thinking its gonna be anything but shock humor and D**k and fart jokes than you are seeing the wrong movie. I saw it last night and did not have high expectations and it blew me away. So funny and so well done. Yes the humor came in waves but that was good because i needed to wipe tears away every 5 minutes. McBride and Franco scenes are amazing and the rest of the cast feeds of each other.

    Excellent Comedy movie.

    • That’s why i don’t pay “ScreenRant” reviews no mind. I wanna see what they gonna say about Man Of Steel. The movies they suppose to give 3 stars or lest they give them 4 stars.

      • Less**

        • Need…. more… asterisk corrections….. [passes out]

          Seriously though, to bring this quote up again:

          “Die-hard fans of Rogen, Franco and their merry band of foul-mouthed misfits will probably be more forgiving of the film’s weaknesses and just relish in the sheer comedic insanity and madness of what transpires onscreen (especially during the take-no-prisoners third act). Everyone else, well… you were probably never planning to check this one out, anyway (if you’re even reading this).”

          You guys are obviously in that first camp. I am too, so I’ll probably have a good time regardless of some arbitrarily assigned units of awesomeness (3 stars = 5000 SR Farts!). What’s the problem here?

      • Learn to write properly before commenting here, please. If only so we can take your dismissal of our reviews more seriously.

        • THIS and YOUR reviews are very off. must not have a knowledge of crude humor.

        • Sorry, I did not realize I was commenting improperly. Ill make sure not you put an R on you next time, my bad.

          Screenrant is pretty much the only website I go to anymore, the reviews are mostly spot on and the Comment Banter is awesome. But stating that this movie lacked humor and plot is nuts. That like saying Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back didnt have enough Kevin Smith. Its a movie written and directed by two friends who wrote it for themselves and thier friends. Luckily we were able to see it on screen.

          Thats my point, great movie, week review. Now im going to take a nap and get ready for Man of Steel tonight.

    • Well, I mentioned that it’s often very funny, but I felt that a number of the jokes didn’t hit their mark and the self-referential humor was kind of hit/miss (in my opinion, of course). Plus, I gave it a good rating overall.

      But… no, you’re right, I sat down expecting to see the next Schindler’s List and my monocle just popped out when Seth Rogen and James Franco started smoking weed and making sex jokes instead.

      • Haha that’s funny, I agree completely with your review Sandy

    • Exactly. I don’t know why I keep getting sucked in, but while reading this I felt like I was in Family Guy’s “New Yorker” offices…this isn’t supposed to be a pretentious film school analysis, it’s a review of a damn apocalyptic stoner comedy…enjoying the smell of your farts, screenrant?

      • It’s a review of a damn apocalyptic stoner comedy that is only “Meh…” funny.

        RE: Our farts. Depends on what we ate that day.

    • I like your review better. I have been looking forward to this movie for months, can’t wait to see it.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with 5Horizons- this reviewer is taking this movie wayyy too seriously- to an insane level.

  3. When its funny its hilarious but there is a lot of missfires

  4. This just seems to be a Superbad, Pineapple Express, Hot Tub Time Machine after thought. The same people, acting the same way, over a different situation. It would seem bland not pending the once and a while laugh out from a cameo appearance. Just seems tired, played out and the comedy is not even that funny, not even from the trailer.

    • Agreed, and I must be getting older because the overuse of the f* word, and references to bodily fluid and functions seemed to take away from the humor rather than add to it. That’s where true genius would come in handy; no need for drawn out cliche fillers whenever the plot falls flat and no one think of a genuinely humorous way to pull it along. How much longer can these guys expect to get away w the now formulaic stoner genre? After all they’re really not that young anymore. With the exception of Craig, basic shock value initiated most of the laughs.

  5. For real? Are the moderators here actually responding to comment criticisms? Have some professionalism, guys. It’s an opinion piece, and not everyone will agree with it.

    • Our staff often replies to commenters, be it to answer friendly questions or reply to criticisms. It’s kind of our thing.

      It’s perfectly fine if you disagree with something we’ve written, we only get on your case if you’re rude about it (or attack the writer personally).

      • Glad you do it too, hateful comments span throughout the internet. The only comments I really read now are on ScreenRant, which may get idiotic comments at times but are kept to a limited. Other than here, I read the article or watch the video then close the window.

        Great review by the way. I wasn’t looking for a groundbreaking comedy but more for a good time with some of the funniest actors in Hollywood. Glad that’s what I’ll be getting.

  6. I’m usually within agreement of most screen rant reviews and I take this sites word over any others. But when it comes to comedies I really don’t even read them any more. I’ll just stick with you guys on every other genre

  7. Not sure why the negative feedback to the review. I never got the impression that Sandy was putting the film down or holding it up to some level of expectation. Just because it’s nothing more than a brain dead, stoner comedy, doesn’t mean there aren’t still technical faults or story weaknesses that don’t deserve to be called out. Overall, sounds about how I figured it would be, great for the fans of this type (which I count myself in) but not much beyond that.

  8. I feel like it would have been a much better comedy movie if the cast had been more diverse and the script more packed then just having it be about a bunch of dudebros. It’s a shame this premise was wasted on this movie.

  9. I LOVED IT! Best comedy I’ve ever seen. Even better than Pineapple Express which is my (now) second favorite.

  10. This sooo my type of Movie!!! I love these guys. It looks like our generation’s version of Adam Sandler and co. I will be in that theater room… un-sober lol

    Ive never had a problem with your reviews. I think this one is pretty fine. :)

    • I’d agree with the “this generation’s Adam Sandler” because he wasn’t funny and the only funny guys in this movie are McBride and Robinson.

  11. Why are people acting like a dumb stoner comedy is immune from legit criticisms? The negatives are clearly laid out in the review and it STILL got a favorable score. Does the new subheading beneath the star score need to be bigger and bolder?

  12. it looks like a really REALLY funny apocolapse movie and only one person can save you and that’s the angel in the dirt Bray Wyatt

  13. ttttiiiiimmmmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee is onnnn my side ! hahahahah

  14. Interesting review. Thought it maybe deserved another half a star or so, but the points touched in the review I would say were fairly dead on. But then again I fall into the crowd of people who usually enjoy the movies of this crew as opposed to hoping they get better or just can’t stand them. Sorry to see Sandy getting so much flak over a regular SR review, although it is fun to see Kofi jump in.

  15. After careful reconsideration – and looking back at the previous films I awarded 3 stars – I’ve decided to bump this one up by half a star.

    The content of my review hasn’t changed – and I promise, it’s not due to peer pressure. ;-)

  16. People shouldn’t be complaining about the rating at all. 3 and a half stars is pretty damn good for a Comedy

  17. The movie was alright. I thought a lot of misfires on the jokes/acts. it’s an alright comedy but there’s funnier comedies out there than this IMHO but it’s still something good to watch when there’s nothing else to see

  18. the movie was “alright” hilarious punch lines but lacked comedy substance to much mindless comedy lol

  19. Funny as hell!!

  20. Great and dead-on review, thank you Sandy!

  21. This movie is hilarious! It’s dark, twisted, raunchy good time. I laughed until I cried, gasped for air and laughed some more.

  22. ”my monocle just popped out when Seth Rogen and James Franco started smoking weed and making sex jokes instead.”
    Hahahaha, no worries Sandy, a good review imo, thanks you guys for doing what you do, this site is great and I love the fact the people who do the reviews or are connected to the site get involved in the comments section!

  23. Lots of upset fan boys in here. The review was spot on.

  24. Granted I don’t know how much this may apply to Sandy’s style of “scoring” a movie, but a component of reviewing a film is determining how well it’ll be appeal to a mass audience. I’d personally give the film a 4/4.5 due to my total Apatow fanboydom, but I imagine a lot of the film would fall flat outside of that somewhat niche group. There are those who would think certain scenes in the film are a flop and those who are just geeking out about watching all these actors interact.

    Also, not to bring up any spoilers, but let’s say my fingers are crossed for some behind-the-scenes footage of that finale.

    • Not to totally rehash what Sandy said or anything…

  25. And I will always looooove you…..

  26. This is McBride’s movie. He steals it. It was likely no coincidence that he is the only character to receive his own slow-mo intro. Hilarious.

  27. I hated this movie so bad. It literally took me an hour to actually get to a part that I felt was actually funny. I felt like you literally had to be on drugs to enjoy it.

    • I did fell like McBride was hilarious though.

  28. I really enjoyed this film. I was laughing throughout the whole thing which doesn’t happen with every comedy nowadays. I went and picked up the soundtrack afterwards and the song “Take Yo Panties Off” with Snoop Dogg and Craig Robinson had me laughing even more after the movie. Give it a listen!

  29. Say what you want about this film, but just like Shaun of the dead, a chance was taken to make a comedy about a truly f***ed up subject. I think films like this are very brave because due to the subject matter, they could easily tank.
    The film wasn’t a masterpiece, but it was funny and entertaining, so what else matters?