This is the End isn’t the greatest comedy I’ve ever seen. There are funnier comedies, smarter comedies, comedies that will reward rewatching – something this comedic take on the apocalypse is less likely to do, reliant as it is on surprises. But, dammit, it’s been a long, long time since I’ve walked out of a cinema with a grin as wide as the one This is the End left on my face.
The film features Judd Apatow’s comedy stable (Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride) playing hugely exaggerated versions of themselves when Franco’s housewarming party becomes a fortress against judgment day. The film has three truly hilarious sections: the initial party, where a coked-up Michael Cera provides most of the humour, a passage that begins with “Let’s take all the drugs,” and a finale that you must experience for yourself. In between these bravura segments, the movie breaks up its time between laid back cabin fever-inspired jokes, emotional moments that should be familiar to anyone who saw Superbad, and signs of the apocalypse that range from ridiculous to really fucking scary. This is the End is far from flawless, but at its best, it’s spectacular.