This film is almost a dare. Would a Hollywood studio greenlight a film about the end of the world starring a bunch of hot stars playing over-the-top versions of themselves? And not really likeable over-the-top versions?
The central relationship in the film is the friendship between Seth Rogen (playing himself pretty doofy) and Jay Baruchel (playing himself as a self-righteous realist in a sea of posers). They attend a party thrown by James Franco (a cluelessly egotistical idiot). Also in attendance are Jonah Hill (mildly creepy), Craig Robinson (party-loving “playa”) and Danny McBride (total douchebag). There are also enough cameos to make even the most casual moviegoer point and laugh often in the opening sequence that largely takes place in this party.
I appreciate the fact that the marketing did not ever reveal the nature of the disaster that has befallen the Earth. So that reveal is pretty well done. This forces the film to shift into a far less impressive second act, filled with all the closed room drama that you would expect, though much of it revolves around a coveted Snickers bar.
Thankfully, the finale saves the film. Some characters shift into some very dark (though still funny) territory, and others are truly redeemed. The film never gets sappy; they’re too smart for that. But they do filter the craziness through enough genuine emotion to make me care what happens when the titular End is finally reached.
By the way, my connection scheme, while enjoyable, was simply unsustainable. I’m WAY behind in my reviews. So the people in this movie were in other movies. Done. On to the next review…