This is the End proves the apocalypse can be hilarious

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In the midst of mediocre apocalypse movies and comedies, horror-comedy This Is the End could’ve gone one of two ways: it could’ve either been a full-scale disaster like Movie 43, with over-the-top, gross-out humor that falls far from its goal of entertainment, or a fan favorite like Shaun of the Dead. This Is the End is probably the funniest movie out this year. It’s also one of the more successful, enthralling apocalypse movies to come out this year, especially after the flop of After Earth.

The movie opens with Seth Rogen at an airport, where he is recognized by a passerby. This is the tip-off to the fact that he’s playing himself in the movie, as is every other actor. After Rogen picks up Jay Baruchel from the airport, the audience gets a little more insight to the premise of the movie. It is, essentially, a heightened version of reality. All actors are playing a (hopefully) more rowdy, exaggerated version of their real life personas, even referencing their own films.

Baruchel and Rogen, after getting stoned, head to a party at James Franco’s house. The scene looks like exactly what you’d expect of a “young Hollywood” party to be. There are actors and comedians everywhere, some of them only there for a small part of the film, while others return later on when the action is in full swing. It’s during this party that the apocalypse occurs, first thought to be only an earthquake by most people, but turning into so much more. This marks the setup for the rest of the movie: six friends staying in James Franco’s house while the world is literally coming to an end.

The main cast includes James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson. With these six staying together, tensions begin to rise and for a while the movie takes on the tone of a reality television show, though not in a bad way. The movie does get darker as it reaches the end when they finally venture from the house, but it still proves to be hilarious, and keeps the audience interested.

The humor is vulgar, self-deprecating, and outrageous, definitely deserving of the R rating. The relationships between the characters grow (or fall apart in some cases) and it works, along with running jokes and shocking scenes. Being based off of the short film Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse, it almost takes on the feel of a sketch comedy, like a funny viral video you might see online. You can tell that the actors had a great time making the movie and it really has an effect on the mood of the film.

Ultimately, a movie that could’ve been disastrous, This Is the End, handles the apocalypse well, even provoking a bit of thought about the topic of the end of the world. They even manage to gracefully deal with demonic possession, religious themes (nothing too serious), and the idea of good vs. evil. Throughout the movie, the audience is kept laughing and is eventually graced with an oddly satisfying ending. Writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have a history of writing well-received films like Superbad and Pineapple Express, and this movie is no different. The mix of raunchy, dark, gross humor and monsters is not for everyone, but fans of this type of bold (and often inappropriate) comedy will be extremely happy with what they’re paying for.