This Is the End Is Hilarious, Interminable

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg make a self-referential gem
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2013 1:54 PM CDT

Just how funny can the end of the world be? Really funny if you spend it with a bunch of Hollywood's top young comedians playing themselves in Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's raunchy and absurd This Is the End. Critics seem to agree that the film is hilarious—though most have a quibble or two. Here's what they're saying:

  • "There is stuff in This is the End that had me laughing so hard, I sensed new body parts joining in to help out—my pancreas was heaving, my bile ducts ripped," writes Kyle Smith at the New York Post. But "the movie falls short of being a classic" thanks to its flabby pacing and lackluster structure. "It's destined to be watched by viewers with one thumb on the fast-forward button."

  • The bickering between the stars "is so fast and obscene that you feel like you're eavesdropping on the sorts of things comedians say to each other when they're off camera," writes Owen Gleiberman at EW. Thankfully, "the movie doesn't play the end of days for laughs. It's an honest-to-god metaphysical disaster movie," which makes the comedy "all the more explosive."
  • "It’s the best and funniest and most absurd and outrageous and self-referential of all high-concept, stars-playing-themselves, Jewish Rapture movies ever made," writes Andrew O'Hehir at Salon, but it's also obnoxiously self-satisfied. Rogen and Goldberg need to get over the idea that "nothing could possibly supersede the awesomeness of hanging out with them and their young, rich, famous friends."
  • It's basically "a foul-mouthed, good-natured 'Funny-or-Die' sketch stretched to feature length," observes AO Scott at the New York Times. And while it's "genuinely, even sublimely hilarious," the title could easily refer to "the creative exhaustion of its makers and the popular, profitable strain of humor they represent." The house the gang is trapped in "represents the limitations of an insular, exclusive, and increasingly self-cannibalizing comic imagination."
(Read more This Is the End movie review stories.)

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