This is the End is a clever idea. Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride and other famous actors play themselves. The movie is set at a party at Franco's palatial home. Among those attending are Rihanna, Emma Watson, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart and Paul Rudd.
Then the world ends, and a lot of them die.
The mystery the six surviving guys have to figure out is what really happened to the world and how they will get saved. In the meantime, they have to survive, and survival isn't easy with the IQ and the egos of the actors involved.
Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Pineapple Express, Superbad) "wrote" and direct for the first time. The movie is based on a trailer they did with Baruchel in 2007. It took that long to get funding for the film and a green light.
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There is a lot to love about This is the End and an equal number of things to make you cringe. Rogen and Goldberg are talented writers, and their idea is terrific. The actors also have a great time poking fun at themselves. Michael Cera — one of the most irritating actors of all time — is hilarious in his short stint. So is Channing Tatum, who has a short cameo.
The dialogue is not for the prim and proper. It often makes raunchy look tame. Much of the verbiage is ad-libbed, and no topic is taboo. These guys are in their early 30s, and you'd think they'd be past humor that put them in giggling fits as teenagers.
Actors, it appears, do not have to grow up. And if this is your thing, then neither do you.
Director: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg
Stars: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Channing Tatum, Rihanna, Emma Watson, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Mindy Kaling, Kevin Hart and Paul Rudd
Mr. Movie rating: 4 stars
Rated R for graphic language, graphic violence, mature themes, nudity. It is playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.