Does watching a bunch of foul-mouthed, weed-smoking, pill-popping celebrities attempt to survive the end of the world sound like a good time? If it does, your summer just took a significant upturn with This is the End, the directorial debut from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the dynamic duo behind Superbad and Pineapple Express. Not only are we talking about an apocalyptic tale, this is also the vulgar, balls out, R-rated comedy you’ve been waiting for. (The Hangover Part III was a miserable failure on that front.) Just because this is exactly what you expect it to be—raunchy, improvised humor—doesn’t make it any less of a freaking blast.
A riff on the public personas of Rogen and a bunch of his young, funny celebrity buddies, the action kicks off with Jay Baruchel arriving in Los Angeles. After a fast-paced weed and videogame montage, Rogen drags his reluctant pal to an epic rager at James Franco’s new digs. There, surrounded by people he hates, Jay has a miserable time as everyone any of these guys has ever been in a movie with acts like an asshole. Michael Cera as a coked out lecherous version of himself is the standout here.
A reworking of the earlier short, Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse, before long, shit starts to get real, and the world, for all intents and purposes, takes a huge dump. Bright blue shafts of light come down and suck people into the sky, the Hollywood Hills burst into flames, and the Earth rips open, swallowing up most of the party. After this, you’re left with the core group that you follow through the film—Seth, Jay, Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, and Danny McBride—and they barricade themselves inside Franco’s, waiting for a celebrity rescue team. After all, Jonah was nominated for an Oscar. They have to save him, right? Right after they get Clooney.