When he's in Los Angeles, Jay Baruchel (Jay Baruchel) always stays at the home of his good friend Seth Rogen (Seth Rogen), who he has known for years since they are both Canadians who hit it big in Hollywood about the same time. What Jay wants to do is settle down in front of Seth's brand new 3D television, play some games, watch something for a while, get high and eat junk food, which they do all afternoon until Seth drops a bombshell: he would like them both to attend a party tonight at fellow star James Franco's house. Jay is reluctant because he doesn't think he gets along with Seth's new pals, and really hopes Jonah Hill isn't there...
But he will have bigger problems than hobnobbing with big celebrities when he is persuaded to go along that evening, as an hour or so into the festivities he and Seth wander off to a convenience store whereupon there is an almighty crash, and columns of blue light transport selected people up into the sky. That's right, This Is the End was yet another apocalypse movie, a trend which showed no sign of ebbing away, though not all of them were as religious as this one. Well, that's not quite true, as while directors and writers Rogen and Evan Goldberg were including their version of the Christian apocalypse, since they were not Christian they had a more satirical, parodic slant on the Book of Revelation than certain others.
This was a comedy after all, and one of the biggest jokes was that a bunch of hipster actors who always seemed to turn up in each other's movies were never going to get into heaven if they continued behaving the same way as they did here. There had been instances of movie stars appearing in comedies as themselves, Brigitte Bardot was herself at the end of Dear Brigitte and Mel Brooks set the benchmark for such in-jokey performances with Silent Movie, but here Rogen and Goldberg went at it with admirable dedication, wavering between depicting the stars as somewhere near to what we in the audience expected them to be and outrageous caricatures: step forward Michael Cera as he demolished his butter wouldn't melt public image.
Not that the womanising, drug-addled Ceramonster hung around for long as he suffers damnation fairly early on, but for what could easily have been adapted as a theatrical play seeing as how it mostly took place in one location, Franco's house, the themes attempted to make musings over morality and spirituality be heard over the parade of smut and coarse humour as the cast turned the air blue with reckless abandon. It may have been all to easy to miss the serious point here, but essentially the movie wondered if pretty much nobody was blameless, only few were willing to admit it, then who among us was truly destined for an eternal reward when there were so many pitfalls in life which could send us hellbound entirely unintentionally, and more because we weren't thinking our actions through?
So Jonah Hill seems supernice to the cynical, increasingly alienated at the party Jay, to the point that he seems to want to get amorous with the hapless actor, yet is the one who invites Satan into the house in a spoof of Rosemary's Baby - part of the amusement is seeing how an actor's idea of Armageddon would be drawn so much from the horror movies on the subject. As six survivors of the disaster huddle together in Franco's earthquake-proof home, tempers fray and desperation sets in, which cued plenty of ridiculous conversations between what are regarded by the audience as some of the most self-centred people on the planet. Whether you found this funny was a matter of taste, but if you were in on the joke as much as the cast were, including small roles for the likes of R&B superstar Rihannna and an axe-wielding Emma Watson, then this was a lot like spending an hour or two with a boy's club of celebs and finding they were as pre-emptively entertaining about their status in life as you hoped. Many are not on this wavelength, but their loss, this was very funny. Music by Henry Jackman.