Dying is easy. Comedy is hard.
Now this is a tough one to grade.
On the one hand, there were many scenes in This Is The End, the Seth Rogen/James Franco/Jay Baruchel/Danny McBride/Jonah Hill/Craig Robinson film that had me laughing out loud…
…yet there were an equal number of moments that tested my patience. Eventually I had more than my fill of the movie and turned it off perhaps a half hour before its end (no pun intended!).
Once I shut the film off, I didn’t think I’d return to it. That’s how tired I was of the whole thing.
Nonetheless, I knew there wasn’t much left to see so I decided to finish the film off. Lo and behold, I greatly enjoying the movie’s climax/last act. I’m certain the one day rest away from the film greatly helped as I found these parts fun and very funny.
The moral of the story? Watch This Is The End in at least two sittings.
So that’s the crux of the movie’s problem: While quite humorous at times, the film feels way, waaaay too long at 107 minutes. The film’s concept, by the way, is this: Seth Rogen and his Hollywood friends play Looney Tune versions of themselves and while partying at actor James Franco’s house the Apocalypse hits Earth and their numbers dwindle as they ineptly fend for themselves.
Had the boys brought a good editor with them, s/he might have trimmed down the film’s excesses while sharpening the admittedly funny jokes and giving us an overall better product.
A good example of this is the sequence involving Emma Watson beating the boys up and stealing their food/water supplies. This sequence, as presented in its abbreviated form in the theatrical trailer below, is hilarious. In the movie, we get this extended -and not as funny- bit where the boys let Emma Watson back into James Franco’s house and then get into a discussion of the fact that she’s the only female in this house full of men…and of course the dialogue gets into the potential for one or more of them getting the urge to rape her. Emma overhears this conversation and this is why she ultimately splits.
But the joke, to my mind, works better in the abbreviated form of the trailer: Emma breaks into the house, intimidates and beats the boys up before stealing their supplies and they lament the fact that they got their asses kicked by “Hermione”.
As I said before, the film does have its share of very humorous sequences. The problem is the film is way too overindulgent and could have used more judicious pruning. A shame. Had the film run perhaps 90 minutes or so it might have been far better.