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This is The End (AF)


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

Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg

If there was an Oscar for Best Film in the Worst Possible Taste, this zany, terminally tasteless piece that takes the Apocalypse as its subject and then subjects it to a tsunami of filthy language and crude and lewd situations and features a song called “Take Your Panties Off” would wins hands down.

If your taste runs more in the direction of Pride and Prejudice and charm-loaded, not too graphic romcoms, then I’d advise you miss this one-of-a-kind low comedy.

Should you need any more information before deciding whether the extinction of Mankind is a really suitable subject for coarse comedy and one you would like to see, then the following quote may be of assistance.

“’This is The End” has been rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America for Crude and Sexual Content Throughout, Brief Graphic Nudity, Pervasive Language, Drug Use and Some Violence”.

Which comment neatly sums up what happens when Rogen and his visiting fellow Canadian Jay Baruchel join the odd assortment of Hollywood characters, all playing themselves although one hopes, not exactly as in real life, who are enjoying a wild Hollywood-cliché party in James Franco’s luxury home.

Then Los Angeles is suddenly subjected to bizarre and catastrophic results that leave the ground riven with sinkholes and fissures leading to boiling lava below and- surely this is heresy – leaving the Hollywood Hills ablaze. On a possible more optimistic note, blue rays suck some people are into the heavens by … By the time many in the starry cast have been eliminated in the worst possible taste.

If you find yourself laughing when Michael Cera enquires “Is it Bad?” after a light standard pierces his chest or at the other unfortunate endings that leave Rogen, Baruchel, Franco, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride and Craig Robinson trapped in Franco’s home while the world ends around them, and are happy to savour a legion of low jinks which include Hill being possessed by a giant monster with a huge penis – an event that leads to a cruelly funny send-up of The Exorcist, then you should find much to enjoy, however juvenile and/or filthy the humour turns out to be.

A severed head rolls across the floor, Emma Watson forgets her eternal fame as Harry Potter’s sanitised sweetie Hermione and goes berserk with a giant axe, leaving Rogen to say to the survivors as they fight for the dwindling food supplies, “She’s British – let’s give her all the food we don’t like”.

While the special effects are gaudy, convincing and very effective in creating a credible end of the world, Rogen and Goldberg never let them overwhelm a cheerfully coarse comedy that casts Channing Tatum as a gang leader’s bitch.

That may not be Art but it's definitely Show Business!

Alan Frank

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

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 3, Swearing 3.

Review date: 27 Jun 2013