Reviewed by: Jake Roberson
mocking God and His Word
promoting illegal drug use
catastrophe and the Bible
reconciling with friends / reconciliation
end of the world
illegal drug use
demons and demonic possession
What does God say? Answer
Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer
|Featuring:||James Franco … James Franco
Emma Watson … Emma Watson
Paul Rudd … Paul Rudd
Seth Rogen … Seth Rogen
Jonah Hill … Jonah Hill
Michael Cera … Michael Cera
Jason Segel … Jason Segel
Christopher Mintz-Plasse … Christopher Mintz-Plasse
Jay Baruchel … Jay Baruchel
Point Grey Pictures
|Distributor:||Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures|
All Jay Baruchel wanted to do for the weekend was chill. He just wanted to hang out and reconnect with his buddy Seth Rogen. He just wanted to scarf some Carl’s Jr. He just wanted to drink, smoke weed, and watch stuff on Seth’s new 3D television. That’s all Jay really wanted.
He did not want to go to James Franco’s house-warming party. He did not really want to hang out with Seth’s other friends. He definitely did not want to see Michael Cera’s bare derrière. And he most certainly did not want the world to end. Unfortunately for Jay, all of his “Wants” get flushed down the toilet in the blink of an eye as each one of his “Didn’t Wants” comes to pass. (Along with several other things that would have made the “Didn’t Want” list, if he had thought they’d been even remotely conceivable.)
In the end (pun intended), much to his chagrin, Jay finds himself stuck in James Franco’s house with five other extremely selfish and self-centered individuals (Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and the homeowner himself, James Franco [all playing exaggerated versions of themselves]) as they try to navigate the perils of a world spinning headlong into a profanely violent conclusion to its existence.
“VOTING” FOR BAD MOVIES—Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer
On the topic of violence…
… there is a significant dosage in the film, a dosage that begins with a woman being crushed by a large object and ends with a gigantic demon being sliced nearly in twain. In between, people get punched, kicked, stabbed, and incinerated. One man is impaled by a light post, and the camera makes sure to linger on the bloody results. A woman’s head is squashed when someone accidentally steps on it. Dozens of party-goers fall to their death when an earthquake opens a giant hole in the yard. One of those individuals is kicked in the face several times (on purpose) before he eventually falls.
A man is decapitated by an unknown entity, and his head is promptly (though accidentally) kicked around soccer-style by several people as they slip and slide in the blood spurting from his neck/head. Emma Watson thwacks one character in the face with the butt of an axe, and Jay brains Jonah twice with a bat. One man takes bites out of another’s face, and the victim is subsequently devoured by a group of cannibals.
One character confesses that he once gouged a man’s eyes out during an altercation over a game of Foosball. A fairly lengthy gag features one character jokingly pretending that he is about to commit suicide with a revolver. The audience hears the chaos of the world’s end from inside James’ house as the sound of gunfire, explosions, and people screaming echoes through the night. One man attempts (unsuccessfully) to shoot several other men at point blank range.
… is the name of the game in “This Is the End.” A large portion of the characters’ antics are fueled by copious consumption of massive quantities of drugs and alcohol. Characters frequently talk about how much they enjoy various kinds of drugs, though weed is the favorite and most commonly abused substance. Marijuana is smoked in joints, pipes, and bongs. Michael Cera, who is perpetually stoned and/or drunk out of his mind, blows a pile of cocaine in Christopher Mintz-Plasse’s face (against the will of the latter).
The survivors count several bags of marijuana, Ecstasy, and “shrooms” among their survival rations. Jay unwittingly drinks Ecstasy, while the other survivors consume the other various forms of drugs on hand, which initiates a wild, hallucination-filled bender that includes two of the men dueling with lamp stands while the others throw cash around like they’re betting on cockfights. A scene in “heaven” features the “revelation” that weed is habitually consumed within the confines of the Pearly Gates. There is talk of a sequel to “Pineapple Express,” wherein, much to the chagrin of the drug lord antagonist, the protagonists would be attempting to make all weed legal. The survivors later film a home movie version of the sequel based on that premise.
Moving on to the language and crude humor…
… there are a minimum of 455 four-letter-words (and/or their various derivations) to contend with throughout the film. At least 296 of those are forms of the F-word, and different variations of “sh*t” are mentioned 103 times. Those figures do not include a multitude of recurring jokes about and references to “p*ssies,” “twats,” “c*cks,” “d*cks,” “taints,” and “c*nts.” The Lord’s name is abused 40 times. The more “minor” curse words are abused less frequently, but audiences will still encounter approximately 10 references to “a**” or “a**hole,” and about a half-dozen uses of “b*tch,” “d*mn,” and “h*ll.”
As if the aforementioned language issues weren’t enough, we are asked to laugh as a man urinates all over a toilet seat and attempts to wipe it off with his boot. Another man admits to drinking his own pee and then proceeds to drinking more out of a martini glass. Yet another character is somehow able to accidentally urinate in his mouth. Two friends reminisce about a time when one of them “sharded” in his pants after attempting to eat $20 worth of food from Taco Bell. One man, after being possessed by a demon, vomits bile all over two of his friends. Several individuals flip “the bird” at others as a gesture of anger and/or defiance.
… there are two lengthy, profane conversations that center around rape and whether or not certain individuals are “rapey” and/or planning on committing such a heinous act. Several scenes feature references to “sucking d*ck” and different (male) characters’ propensity for doing so. Rihanna punches a man in the face after he slaps her backside. There are two scenes wherein the “humor” focuses on both offers to and threats of “t*tty-f***ing,” and one character confesses that as a child he had “man t*tt*es” and that one time “bullies held [him] down and t*tty-f***ed [him].”
Several men share a bed together (because they are scared), and they discuss whether they want to sleep “butt to d*ck,” “d*ck’s up,” or while spooning. One man brags about having Channing Tatum as his personal sex slave and provides brief, but explicit details about his exploits. We hear multiple references to pornography and masturbation, including an incredibly long, angry, profanity-laced argument between James and Danny about “jerking off” and “jizzing” and the various methods, locations, and targets they plan to incorporate (including a few they already have).
It’s almost impossible to separate the profane language from the crass sexual content shown on screen, as they are interwoven so tightly that their onscreen relationship feels co-dependent. Partially nude women are seen on pages of a Penthouse magazine (the spark that ignited the aforementioned fight about “jizz”). Michael Cera’s is shown backside when Jay accidentally walks in on him receiving a bl*wj*b from a topless girl, and it appears that another girl has been using her mouth/tongue to perform some kind of sex act on his bare backside at the same time. Later, when someone is trying to describe watching people get sucked up into the sky Rapture-style, Michael crows that he “got sucked up here.” Girls are shown dancing in bikinis at a party in “heaven.”
There is a large, multi-colored, phallus-shaped object in James’ house, and it eventually gets chopped in half with an axe. We see a demon’s large, creepy, erect penis, as the being crawls into bed with Jonahm and it is strongly implied that it rapes and subsequently possesses Jonah. While possessed, Jonah straddles one of his friends, while the demon threatens to “smush [his] man boobies together and t*tty-f*** [him].” We later see a massive penis (approximately the size of a large building) on a humongous demonic being, who is possibly supposed to be Satan (the movie is unclear on that point). A short time later, the giant penis is sliced off, and the beast is killed when one of the “rapture” beams hits it.
Speaking of “rapture” beams…
… I’d be remiss if I didn’t address the troubling and problematic (and blasphemous) spiritual content in the film. Seeing as this is a story about the end of the world, references to biblical prophecies concerning the apocalypse did not come as a surprise. However, as it turns out, the end of the world scenario presented in the film’s plot is supposed to be a representation (read: mockery) of the end of the world as prophesied in the book of Revelation. (Or, rather, what the creators try to pass off as Scriptural, which really just amounts to their own twisted interpretation of a few scattered verses that don’t actually appear in the Bible.)
During an attempted exorcism, one character repeats the phrase “the power of Christ compels you” while wielding a makeshift crucifix. The demon mocks the attempt, stating that, among other things, “…it [the power of Christ] doesn’t seem that compelling.” Another man profanely paraphrases Jesus’ words from Matthew 7:12 while getting the reference mixed up with one of the Ten Commandments. Jay, convinced that their present circumstances are in line with the biblical prophecies concerning the end of days, claims to be quoting passages from the book of Revelation to back up his assertion. However, he does not provide any actual verse references and his “quotes” appear to be, at best, a convoluted mash up of Revelation 6:14; 8:8; 11:12; 12:3; 13:1 and a dash of 1 Thessalonians 4:17, as well.
Elsewhere, Jonah prays and asks God to “just kill Jay … [because] that’d be tight.” During that same prayer he informs God that he “hates Jay … [and that] Jay is the worst person [God] created,” while wondering aloud if God must have been slacking off the day he created Jay. After realizing that they are facing evidence that proves that God is real, several of the survivors correct another survivor when he takes Jesus’ name in vain in a profane manner.
A few members of the group figure out that they can be saved and “raptured” to heaven by committing selfless acts, and so they proceed to commit selfless acts in order to save themselves. This tactic ends up working for four of them—though one man manages to promptly lose his salvation—even though only one of them actually appears to commit a selfless act without self-serving intentions. In that case, Seth lets go of Jay (who was trying to give Seth a ride to heaven on his “rapture” beam), so that Jay can actually enter, since each beam is made for only one person.
… Seth and Jay do seem to really care for one another, even though their relationship has recently consisted primarily of lies, secrets, and selfishness. Both Seth and Jay eventually realize their errors and apologize to each other for their contribution to the dysfunction in their relationship. As mentioned above, Seth does lay down his life for his friend (John 15:13-style) in a selfless manner. The message gleaned from the mending of their relationship is the closest thing we get to a positive theme in a movie that is otherwise almost entirely devoid of anything that even remotely resembles morality.
It feels like there are not enough negative adjectives to use to describe the content in “This Is The End,” and, even if there were enough, any negative adjectives we could use would only be perceived as a compliment. It is the sort of movie that is made to offend sensibilities in as many ways as possible during its 107 minutes. We see the importance of honesty and friendship in this movie only because nearly everyone exhibits the exact opposite attributes onscreen.
What’s really painful about the whole thing is that the guys in the movie—many of whom also helped on the other side of the camera—are such talented individuals. Each of the primary actors/characters (and several members of the supporting cast) are incredibly funny people, and the movie is made to highlight their comedic strengths. There are many moments where I wanted to laugh, even in spite of the profane and/or blasphemous content, because the actors’ timing, delivery, and chemistry are often spot on. But, ultimately, there is nothing in this movie that can “redeem” it from the pit in which it willingly and gleefully casts itself.
Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Extreme
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
…A slapdash amount of effort, modest effects and a modicum of talent are on display, but the imagination deployed is negligible. The result, a mash-up of penis and drug jokes, could have come from Kevin Smith or Harold and Kumar. …
—Duane Dudek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
…Laughs run out before the world goes up in smoke… The movie feels longer than it is…
—Chris Hewitt, St. Paul Pioneer Press