Fans of 2008’s stoner/comedy Pineapple Express have been waiting 5 years for Seth Rogen and James Franco to toke up on the big screen with its sequel. Instead of an uninspired rehash of the same thing that ruins the original movie ala The Hangover, 2013’s This Is the End proves that you can give the fans what they want, and still have an imaginative and entertaining movie…something that the Wolfpack never seemed to care about.
Clearly this is not a sequel to the Pineapple Express, although the movie takes some time to poke fun at what one would be like by making a cheap version of one on a handheld camera. This movie breaks down the fourth wall with Seth, James, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson playing exaggerated versions of themselves at the end of the world on Judgment Day.
Seth picks up his childhood buddy, Jay, at the Los Angeles airport. Although Seth is on a ‘cleanse’ of sorts, the two pig out at Carl’s Jr®, then head home to smoke pot and play video games. We see on TV that a sinkhole has opened up in Guatemala, and swallowed people whole, but Seth and Jay are too stoned to realize it. Instead, they decide to party the night away at James Franco’s mansion where celebrities galore make cameos in what will be the final moments of their lives. Michael Cera delivers a show-stealing performance as a coked out, sexual caricature of himself.
Eventually, the righteous people of the world ascend to heaven, and Franco’s sinning partygoers are swallowed outside his home as they attempt to flee to safety. Seth, James, Jonah, Jay, Danny, and Craig make it back inside only to find themselves trapped.
Many comedies tend to start off strong but fizzle out after 45 minutes or so. Others seem funny in the previews, but in reality, the previews were the only funny thing about the movie. This Is the End does not suffer from any of that. Once Judgment Day begins, the comedy continues to be inspired through to the end…it’s almost as if Seth and company actually cared about entertaining us more than making a quick buck. Even the conclusion of the film, which many comedies seem to give little thought to, is strong.