This Is the End: The World's Last, Best Buddy Film
Settle your fears, Seth Rogen–loving stoners: This Is the End is hilarious—more hilarious than Superbad, more outrageous than Pineapple Express, so shockingly hilarious that you'll marvel it doesn't have a NC-17 rating.
The setup isn't terribly original, but it is every Christian's wet dream: James Franco is having a house party when the apocalypse hits. Brimstone blossoms in the Hollywood Hills, fire rains from the sky, and the earth opens up and swallows celebrities whole. Meanwhile, heaven sucks up the worthy, and everyone else—including Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride, all playing warped versions of themselves—is left to fight over the last scraps of food and licks of water.
Most of the movie takes place in Franco's mansion. Aside from brief cameos by Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, and Rihanna, the film—cowritten and directed by Rogen and BFF Evan Goldberg—is entirely dude-centric. This translates into lots of dick jokes, weed jokes, and jokes about guys getting raped. What makes the film work is its heavy reliance on the comedians' improvisation skills. Michael Cera's death scene steals the show (truthfully, every one of his scenes steal the show), as does a long, heated fight between Franco and McBride over McBride's ejaculate. There are short periods when the actors get overly caught up in their improv and the plot drags, but just as your mind wanders, an outrageous amount of violence explodes, or Satan's cock appears on-screen, or Channing Tatum makes the greatest cameo of all time and snaps you back into the moment. Sure, This Is the End could've ended 20 minutes sooner, but it still succeeds as a really fucking funny buddy film that plays to the strengths of every comedian on-screen. Isn't that exactly what you want at the end of the world?