You’ll Be Hoping That “This Is The End” Right From The Start

Posted: July 16, 2013 in movies
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The big problem with most comedy these days is that it just isn’t funny. Granted, my idea of “good” comedy might be different from yours — I prefer the kind of humor that forces society to take a hard look at itself while simultaneously making us laugh (George Carlin, Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, even some early Richard Pryor are good examples of what I’m talking about), and not the sort that actively encourages us to be even bigger morons and fuck-ups than we already are by celebrating all our most base, lowest-common-denominator elements under the thin veneer of “poking fun at ourselves.”

In other words, I don’t like stupid shit, and this summer’s offerings at the box office are loaded with the worst offenders when it comes to peddling stupid shit. The truly loathsome Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson have teamed up again for The Internship. The worst culprits of all, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, and David Spade (Chris Rock still gets a pass in my book, though not for much longer if he keeps this shit up) are back in Grown Ups 2. And almost every other unfunny asshole on the planet is on board for the movie that we’re here to (briefly) discuss today, This Is The End.

Yup, friends, the comedy landscape is indeed bleak, and with the spectre of  another brain-dead Will Ferrell extended character sketch breathing down our necks in the form of Anchorman 2, it doesn’t look like things will be improving anytime soon. Oh well — at least Ben Still is nowhere to be found on the radar screen for now.

Seriously, about the only thing This Is The End proves is that the only thing less entertaining than watching Seth Rogen (who also co-directed and co-wrote this stinkbomb along with Evan Goldberg), Jonah Hill, James Franco (who I usually actually like), Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Michael Cera, Paul Rudd, Jay Baruchel, Rihanna, Emma Watson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, and Channing Tatum playing other people is watching them play themselves. Oh, sure, their characterization here is self-deprecating on its surface, but poke beneath that for one nanosecond and you’ll see that this tone is a phony one and that the real raison d’etre for this film is for all these folks to tell us how awesome they are for a couple of hours. Just mix in the occasional pot, sex, or bodily fluids joke and you’re successfully hoodwinked 95% of the country into thinking you’re really just an average guy or gal like them.

Sorry, not buying it. “Celebrities Vs. The End Of The World” is as shallow an idea in practice as it sounds on paper, friends, and watching the rich and famous try to navigate their way through the apocalypse turns out to be so goddamn idiotic that you’ll be actively wishing for the world to end before the movie does, if only to save you from one more in-joke or self-aggrandizing public chest-thumping in the guise of toilet humor.

Seriously, who is the audience for a movie like this? Are we so obsessed with the vapid celebrity “lifestyle” that we’re willing to genuflect before these people and hand them our cash (full disclosure — I snuck into this one)  for telling us how cool they are to our faces? How pathetic and gullible have we become? How willing  to actively participate in our own cultural dumbing-down?

Ya know, maybe this is all we really deserve at this point, if we’ve become this cowed, complacent, and resigned to our own slow-burn apocalypse. What was it they said about the fall of Rome and bread and circuses?

The only joke in This Is The End is the massive, and frankly kinda tragic, one that’s being played on all of us.

  1. Smash says:

    Nice work on the sneak in! I myself am a big fan of that manoeuver.
    Too bad you didn’t enjoy it, I haven’t seen this one yet. But it does bother me that this particular group of guys are starting to fall into that same Adam Sandler trap. You know, just making a movie for the sake of hanging out with your friends and oogling hot actresses.

    • trashfilmguru (Ryan C.) says:

      I still think Sandler is the worst of the bunch, but these guys are all letting their egos get the best of them lately, as well. And I’m with you — as long as Hollywood keeps churning out garbage, I’ll refrain from paying for it in any way possible.Sneaking into movies is much easier than most folks who don’t do it would imagine, and the free price is seriously about all most of these current films are worth.

  2. Nice review. This is one of the few modern Hollywood films I sort of wanna see.

    Now I’m gonna crawl back under my rock as I’m sick as a dog. Damn summer cold

  3. Victor De Leon says:

    Ergh. I did want to see this at one point but now…

    • trashfilmguru (Ryan C.) says:

      Maybe you’ll like it. Everyone else in the theater seemed to be laughing except for me.

  4. I actually enjoyed the film because it was so self-indulgent. Plus, I’ve got a crush on James Franco and I’m sure that helped as well.

    • trashfilmguru (Ryan C.) says:

      As I mentioned (I think), I usually like him as well. But nobody could save this bloated ego-fest for me.

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