Seth Rogen and James Franco’s gang of celebrity buddies meet in the latter’s Hollywood pad to party like there’s no tomorrow – and wouldn’t you know it, the apocalypse strikes. The stage is set for a hefty dose of self-indulgent bro comedy. Their boy-man style does have its moments of puerile glory, especially in the opening (Michael Cera as creepy coke fiend does sort of work) and in the moments of ensemble panic as the lads (a Venn diagram of Apatow and Pineapple Express stars, plus a few mild surprises) try to play happy families holed up in Franco’s mansion – if nothing else, they have a realistic notion of the level of composure they’d show in an actual apocalypse.
However, the penis and rape jokes wear thin fast, and the plot as such is distinctly flimsy – the film was based on a joke trailer put together by Rogen and old pal Jay Baruchel, and it shows. A little less self-congratulation, dude, and this could have been a sharp short instead of a daft feature film – and the less said about the CGI, the better.
This Is the End/Das ist das Ende | Directed by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen (USA 2013) With Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson. Starts August 8