DVD review: This Is The End
posted at 12:15 pm on October 20, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
Give This Is The End credit for some original thinking. Instead of writing an apocalyptic send-up using fictional characters, some of Hollywood’s younger-generation stars decided to use semi-fictional versions of themselves to explore what would happen if Armageddon arrived in Los Angeles. For those who love the films of Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and the Judd Apatow approach, this sounds like a great idea for a romp. Instead, it feels more like a peek inside the id of the filmmakers and cast only to discover there’s not much to see.
That’s not to say that there aren’t some laughs in the film. Emma Watson drops by for a few scenes, and her exit is a send-up of survivalist sexual tension … of sorts. A sequence with Hill that takes off on Rosemary’s Baby made me laugh out loud. Fights over the food and water get some laughs. Trying to break the “code” of redemption offers a few laughs, too, but not nearly as many as one would expect, mainly because the entire cast seems to miss the point even when they’re supposedly getting it.
Mostly, though, the film wastes a great deal of time on masturbation, porn, a Milky Way bar, and especially Danny McBride. Significant amounts of it are offensive, not just to religious and taste sensibilities, but also to the intelligence of the viewer. In regard to religion, the second half of the film focuses on the final book of the Bible as a roadmap for what’s happening, which is constantly referred to as “Revelations.” It’s the Book of Revelation, no plural, which gives one an idea of the depth of the commentary that follows. The entire exercise is an extended case of arrested adolescence, which might make This Is The End an interesting commentary on Hollywood if it was intentional, but I somehow doubt it was.
On the Hot Air DVD scale, This Is The End gets a 2 at best:
- 4 – Buy the Blu-Ray/DVD
- 3 – Worth a rental price or pay-per-view
- 2 – Wait for it to come on a TV channel you already get
- 1 – Avoid at all costs
It’s rated R for lots of very good reasons. It’s not for children or teens, even if the film’s characters act mostly like the latter and sometimes the former throughout the entire film.