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Review: This Is the End

Columbia/Mandate/Point Grey

Sorry to disagree with some of you, but while the premise of This Is the End may seem good on paper and in box office returns, in reality, it really isn’t.

The poster says it all.

Most of you will hopefully be familiar with the “As Themselves” cinematic trick. You have a big-name celebrity star in the movie not as a character, but as the celebrity in real life. Everything about the movie, of course, is fiction. It’s like asking “What if this celebrity entered this film universe?” and wasting a full-length feature budget shooting this hypothetical scenario. When done correctly, celebrities starring as themselves can be a powerful tool. This Is the End shows us three ways how to overuse it.

See how saturated this frame is with stars as themselves.

1. Have EVERYBODY star as themselves.
When a celebrity stars as his-/herself, it’s usually just one person surrounded by a fictional cast. This is the first time I’ve seen the major cast played by actors starring as themselves. Oftentimes it feels like they were just too lazy to come up with names and back stories.

No amount of cute dancing can save this movie.

2. Have the cast ad lib more than half the dialogue.
Which, according to Seth Rogen, they really did. There’s a Filipino term for this: bulbulan. Their conversation is as important as comparing each others’ pubic hair. In other words, it’s stupid.

No amount of Emma Watson can save this movie.

3. Have the movie be about character, not plot.
Actually, this has to be about plot. It can’t be about character, because these are real people who aren’t portraying themselves biographically. But there is no plot. I know, right?

"Woah, woah, woah... what do you mean there's no plot?"

This Is the End. USA. 2013.

Original rating: 5.9 / 10
Danny McBride's deliveries: + 0.2
Jonah Hill's Jonah Hill-ness: - 0.05
James Franco's Franco-ness: + 0.05
Michael Cera's annoying Michael Cera-ness: - 0.05
Jay Baruchel's annoying voice: - 0.05
Final rating: 6.0 / 10

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