You know when you’re hanging out with a group of people who have known each other forever, and they start riffing on a bunch of in-jokes that they find TOTALLY HILARIOUS and you stand there smiling politely even though — if life were captioned — the text underneath you would be, “????”
That’s what it’s like to see This is the End. While the Seth Rogen posse are busy cracking up at their own jokes (“Evan Goldberg is a fake hipster!” “James Franco is a rich douche!” “Michael Cera is a nymphomaniac!(?)”), you (and the rest of the audience) are all like, “Hehe…huh?”
Question: Is the word on the street that Michael Cera is a sex addict or something? Or is the joke just that he seems like an asexual teddy bear? Can you tell I over-analyze things??
The movie wasn’t a total bomb — there were a few funny one-liners and the bit where they decided to make a sequel to Pineapple Express with their camcorder was pretty funny.
BUT — I can’t excuse the following items:
1) The product placement. The part about them fighting over the one Milky Way bar was funny until Mr. Max pointed out that it was mostly thinly veiled product placement. Later, I felt a full-body cringe when one of the characters talked about hopping in his “Prius” — not just his “car.” Please, movie makers, put commercials in the beginning of the movie or something if you must. But cut the plot-based shilling. It’s distracting.
2) The plot. The first 15 minutes of the film were good because there was a little bit of mystery to what was happening. Then it turned into a lame-o Left Behind parody. Boring.
3) The ending. I’m willing to tolerate the Michael Cera back nudity and the (seemingly endless) dick jokes, but ending the movie with a performance by THE BACKSTREET BOYS?
But it probably paid for a new house for James Franco so, on some level…bravo!