Comedy is and can be such a very subjective thing, but when a film really goes for it and tries to do something special it can really knock it out of the park. "This Is The End" is the directorial debut from the writing team of Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, in which a bunch of Hollywood celebrities play themselves, and it just might be the best comedy of the year, now available on DVD, Blu-Ray and On Demand.
Beginning simply enough, Jay Baruchel arrives in Los Angeles to visit his friend Seth Rogan and spend time together. They end up going to a party at James Franco's house where the likes of Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride are there, little do they know that this party will also mark the beginning of the end of the world.
Inspired by the short "Jay & Seth versus the Apocalypse" the co-directors/writers Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogan also wrote, "This Is The End" is a truly bold and ambitious outing from some first time directors that took some real chances, filling their film with some top shelf comedy some subtle (and not so subtle) horror references. Wrap that up in an apocalypse story with a group of celebrities pretty well taking themselves down a healthy peg or three of four, this is easily the smartest and most hilarious comedy of the year. The zingers come at a fast pace as they all poke fun at their own images, both Rogan & Goldberg keep the story moving at a very healthy clip as there's always plenty of action and it never gets bogged down in any one moment. The action sequences are actually incredibly well handled as these moments tie in exceptionally well to the comedic and moral aspects of the story that they are trying to get across. However what makes it all work so exceptionally well, is how this loaded ensemble cast is willing to play these somewhat exaggerated versions of themselves.
The pairing of Rogan and Baruchel as friends and our defacto leads works very well together and as the setup of the film quickly leads them to James Franco's house, all bets are off. The celebrity cameos are far too numerous to count and I honestly wouldn't want to spoil them for you (one in particular that came completely out of left field), however the willingness for everyone involved to poke fun at their own carefully crafted images (especially Franco who is incredibly self-aware and smart about the image he creates) is something incredibly unique to watch. Our lead ensemble in particular with Rogan, Baruchel, Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride shoot one liners back and forth across the room with absolute aplomb making for some of the more inspired locked-in type comedy that this critic has ever seen, and when they slowly begin to turn on each other it gets even better.
The picture and sound quality on the Blu-Ray are first rate as always and the special features include a feature length commentary track with Seth Rogan & Evan Goldberg, several behind the scenes featurettes, a Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes and the original short that the film was based on "Jay & Seth vs. The Apocalypse
It's hard to avoid spoilers when talking about a film like "This Is The End" due to the nature of the story but seeing it all for the first time is such a unique, side-splitting experience that every time I see it from here on out, I'll be wishing that I'm seeing it for the first time as well. Considering the amount of gags that are flying across the screen in this one, I'll be able to keep that feeling going for quite awhile because this is easily one of the best comedies of 2013 so far.
5 out of 5 stars.