Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

This Is The End

Illustration for article titled This Is The End

Thoughts on, and a place to discuss, the plot details we can’t reveal in our review.


So, yes, the Rapture happens in This Is The End. And just about the entire cast perishes during it—most of them in the first big setpiece, which finds Michael Cera taking a lamppost through the chest, Aziz Ansari getting his hand cartoonishly severed, and many others tumbling headlong into a giant, fiery abyss. (They're presumably headed for hell, which is pretty dark for a comedy about celebrity BFFs.) Most of the “left behind” also meet their maker, though not all of them by way of death. In what feels like kind of a sentimental cop-out, This Is The End offers its main characters—who, for most of the film anyway, are presented as narcissistic douchebags—an opportunity to redeem themselves. By behaving selflessly for even just a second, Craig Robinson, Seth Rogen, and Jay Baruchel earn one-way tickets to heaven, their mode of transportation a celestial beam of light that sucks them skyward like alien abductees. (James Franco, on the other end, is torn apart by cannibals. Hard luck there.) The film ends with the Backstreet Boys dropping by paradise to cut a rug with the chosen—a disappointingly rosy conclusion to what starts as an admirably biting Hollywood satire.

Oh, and as a reader has already pointed out in the comment section of the main review, the “secret stowaway who quickly becomes the film’s de facto villain” is prominently featured in the trailers (and on the one-sheet). But dammit, his intro is funny enough to preserve as a surprise for audiences: After all the judgment-day carnage goes down, Danny McBride blithely wanders out of one of the rooms in Franco’s mansion and begins cooking all of the emergency food they’ve stowed away. McBride makes sense as the villain—even the heroes he plays are generally assholes. Here, he gets to devour Franco and make Channing Tatum his love gimp—behavior you might expect from Kenny Powers were he left to his own devices during the apocalypse.