Saturday, June 15, 2013

THIS IS THE END: if it is, then it's a good way to go...

I really enjoyed This is the End, far more than any Judd Apatow movie.  Typically these guys are found in Judd Apatow movies where it's about really grossout jokes, with very little storyline.  Here, the story is continually moving forward and it's a doozy: the apocalypse, the end of days.  I just loved the humor in it.  I thought the whole group is hilarious (yes Louis CK I said it!) and the plot moves swiftly.  Even though the apocalypse occurs, it gets worse and worse in stages for the crew.  The sinkholes, then the fires, small demons, large demons, cannibalism, and then finally...well I won't spoil it for you. 
In addition to that, there's some honest-to-goodness moral messages here about sacrifice, selflessness and vanity, as the five friends ponder why it is they weren't considered worthy enough to be sent to heaven.  And their attempts to better themselves, and the various failures and successes along that way, are just as fun as all the apocalpytic horror that happens around them.
In a strange sense, the movie also feels pretty grounded: you can imagine that this is how these guys WOULD react if the end of the world was happening.  They're not quick thinkers; they're actors. One great sequence has the group trying to figure out how to dig through the floor to get to a garage underneath them -- and with no technical knowledge of any kind, they hit the floor with screwdrivers and shovels and baseball bats.  It's actually very believable all throughout.
And an attempted exorcism scene, in which the actors basically assume the way it was done in the Exorcist was "a training manual" for how to exorcise people, is awesome. 
The denouement, showing the afterlife, is a bit indulgent, but thankfully that's only about 2 minutes anyway, after one of the best climaxes I've seen in years. 
****.  Go see this movie!!!

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