The New Testament according to Comedy
Descending (or possibly ascending) to Earth in the week after one of my favourite movies of the year (Before Midnight), we have what may appear on parchment, to be the complete opposite in every way, but actually isn’t. ‘This Is The End’ (2013) is also one of my favourite movies of the year, and if judged on bad taste laugh per minute quota, one of my favourite comedies of all time. In as much as I’m a colossal fan of hyperbole (I just see it more as living in the moment), this is a preposterously well scribed piece of work, just as ‘Before Midnight’. One noticeable difference in the later, there being the absence of a 100 ft demon with a titan size dick strutting around the neighbourhood. Unless that’s going to be in Linklater’s directors cut?
Coming (literally) from the debauched minds of Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg who both wrote ‘Superbad’, ‘Pineapple Express’ amongst many others, and based on a short film by Jason Stone ‘Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse’, we have an End of Times scenario, which unfortunately happens to be double booked with a house party. But then again, all great comedy is about timing.
Where as in the classic Rockumentary ‘This Is Spinal Tap’ raised the bar to 11, ‘This Is The End’ raises it devilishly higher, to a satanic 13. Normally I take a few notes during a screening to remind my addled brain later about various moments. During this screening I reckon I wrote down one line, and just spent the entirety of the movie laughing.
It very briefly starts off slow enough, like pulling back a catapult, with Jay returning to L.A. to hang out with his buddy Seth. All pretty tame, uneventful enough, besides catching up meaning solely getting stoned and playing video games for what seems an eternity. One of the many delightful levels in the movie, is that everyone plays themselves, which being such a simple disorienting device, actually works brilliantly as they get to play with our perceptions of what we may think of them in real life, how media presents them, and indeed, what they may think of each other.
Jay isn’t so happy though when the quality time is interrupted by Seth wanting to go hang out with his other buddies at a house party being hosted by James Franco (Oz the Great and Powerful), who has a beautifully unnerving obsessive love for Seth.
Strolling out to get some to take a break from the party, Jay and Seth pop into a local convenience store, and well, the catapult is released, and everything goes f**king insane!
If you’re a fan as the previous mentioned movies, and the likes of ‘Eastbound and Down’, ‘21 Jump Street’, ‘Team America’, ‘Tropic Thunder’ and many others of that delightfully colourful, off-taste comedy, you will lap this up like a horny dog on a very hot day. If that’s not your tipple, ‘erm WHY? Joking! This isn’t to everyone’s lack of taste, but I willing knelt down and gagged at the alter of this dark messed up comedy.
But it’s not all wank jokes, though Danny McBride basically owns them forever more, after his performance in this. There’s some tremendously subtle, heartfelt moments when the group of friends begin to question each others relationships, whilst barricaded into Franco’s home against all the spawn of Hell and damnation. It’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ meets ‘Porkies’ via the love child of ‘Supernatural and ‘Dawson’s Creek’.
As is the scale of the movie, the cast list is gargantuan. That in itself could fill up the whole page, with the central characters, and the phenomenal amount of amazing cameos. Each one completely messing with your perception of them, and brazeningly taking the urine out of their previous careers. It’s a guaranteed cult classic. So dense it can, and should be watched many many times.
This Is The End is out on 28th June and released by Sony Pictures.