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Review Roundup: Critics Won Over by Rogen and His Funnyman Gang in 'This Is the End'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood May 31, 2013 at 1:09PM

Early reviews are coming in for Seth Rogen's directorial debut and apocalyptic comedy "This Is the End," starring Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and Michael Cera all playing hyperbolic versions of themselves. And critics are eating it up: Variety cites the film's "clever sense of self-parody," while the Hollywood Reporter mentions that the tired gross-out comedy genre "gets a strange temporary reprieve" with the film. Roundup below.
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"This Is the End"
"This Is the End"

Early reviews are coming in for Seth Rogen's directorial debut and apocalyptic comedy "This Is the End," starring Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and Michael Cera all playing hyperbolic versions of themselves. And critics are eating it up: Variety cites the film's "clever sense of self-parody," while the Hollywood Reporter mentions that the tired gross-out comedy genre "gets a strange temporary reprieve" with the film. Roundup below.

If the reviews are any indication, Rogen -- who aside from being an unkempt leading funny man for the past several years has also written a handful of features including "Superbad" and "Pineapple Express" -- may have an another career as a director ahead of him. Check out our TOH! interview with him and Joseph Gordon-Levitt on their 2011 cancer dramedy "50/50" here.

The Hollywood Reporter:

The seemingly exhausted gross-out comedy genre gets a strange temporary reprieve with This Is the End, an unlikable but weirdly compelling apocalyptic fantasy in which a bunch of young stars and stars-by-affiliation jokingly imagine their own mortality.

Variety:

A sloppy, sophomoric, sometimes awfully funny horror-laffer hybrid that speculates as to how Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and other members of the Judd Apatow comic fraternity would (mis)behave if forced to spend Armageddon in close quarters, this directing debut for co-writers Rogen and Evan Goldberg offsets its slightly smug premise with a clever sense of self-parody and near-cataclysmic levels of vulgarity.


Cinema Blend:


"This Is The End"’s clear primary objective is making the audience laugh so hard they have to gasp for air, and in that respect the film is a tremendous success. It’s rare that a scene ends without at least one out-loud laugh, and most have several. The story works like a bottle plot that escalates and has the characters becoming more agitated and aggressive over time, leading to hysterical circumstances like Franco and McBride having a screaming match about ejaculating on a porno magazine and a group debate about who gives off the biggest “rape-y vibe” when Emma Watson (also as herself) shows up.

The Playlist:

But simply, "This Is The End" is a vanity project that hopes that audiences will enjoy hanging out with Seth and the gang as much as they like hanging out with each other. And as someone who can quote "The 40 Year Old Virgin" near verbatim, watches "Freaks & Geeks" annually, who loves both "Knocked Up" and "Pineapple Express," and laughed my face off at "Your Highness," these guys need more than themselves to play off of.

Ain't It Cool:

Most trailers for comedy movies and scary movies give up most of its goods in the marketing. Which is a shame because it does affect the punchline or comedic surprise in most movies. Lucky for us, there's still tons of surprises in store… “This Is the End” might be the funniest movie since PINEAPPLE EXPRESS from Seth and his gang of collaborators. People who love those type of movies will enjoy this.

This article is related to: Reviews, Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, Reviews


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.