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This is the End (DQ)


Stars: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Emma Watson, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna, Jason Segel, Mindy Kaling

Director: Evan Goldberg, Seth Rogen

Six gross-out comedy stars are marooned in James Franco's house even as the end of the world arrives outside their front door. A coke-snorting Michael Cera is mercifully impaled on a falling telegraph pole, Jason Segel disappears into the abyss, Emma Watson effs and blinds and exits left (wise girl), while Franco, Rogen, Hill, Robinson, Baruchel and the disruptive McGuire (all giving self-congratulatory performances) sit tight and wait for something to happen.

Eventually it does. Hill is possessed by a demon and the rest meet various destinies. Apocalyptic monsters arrive (the effects are as dodgy as you'd expect from a multi-million-dollar vanity project) but too late to alleviate the boredom of all but the late-night crowd, although even they will need a few beers to get in the mood for this provocative filth masquerading as entertainment. Nothing wrong with filth if it's funny, but this is far from that.

Lots of below-the-waist jokes (references would perhaps be a fairer description), but the funniest scene is when the six stoners freak out on a newly-discovered water supply.

For the record the story makes no sense - not that it matters. Watson fans may want to see her further fragment her Hermione image. But then again, maybe not.

Whether or not you find the movie funny, it does beg the question: is this all there is in the future of comedy: jokes about projectile vomiting, urination, pooing, penises, vaginas, oral sex, ejaculation and sex in general? Will wit and laugh-out-loud visual gags ever return? In the hands of our present stars on either side of the Atlantic, it doesn't seem likely. And that, to me, is a depressing thought.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by deluxe.
105 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 1, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 26 Jun 2013