1:30 PM EDT, May 31, 2013
The apocalypse, generally seen as an occasion for sober reflection and perhaps deep despair, instead provides an excuse for ostensibly grown men to drink their own urine, kick around a guy's severed head and have long, drawn-out arguments about their autoerotic habits in "This Is the End." A sloppy, sophomoric, sometimes awfully funny horror-laffer hybrid that speculates as to how Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel and other members of the Judd Apatow comic fraternity would (mis)behave if forced to spend Armageddon in close quarters, this directing debut for co-writers Rogen and Evan Goldberg offsets its slightly smug premise with a clever sense of self-parody and near-cataclysmic levels of vulgarity. Mid-summer competition aside, commercial disaster seems unlikely.
In making the decision to have well-known comedic actors play themselves, regular screenwriting partners Rogen and Goldberg (elaborating on their 2007 short "Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse") clearly had fun playing up and/or working against different aspects of each star's persona. As written, Seth (Rogen) is the guy everyone likes, the good-natured goof who, apart from shedding several pounds, hasn't been changed much by his Hollywood fortunes. Jay (Baruchel) is the gangly, awkward, slightly neurotic one who doesn't quite fit in with Seth's newer, more famous friends.
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