I’ll start with this. This is the best comedy I have seen in a long time. The genre seems to have fallen off as of recent years, or been overdone (The Hangover). Ironically enough, a lot of those comedies contain these actors listed above. Some of their movies are solid, some aren’t. But here, is a brilliant mesh of all these men of the Apatow gang uniting to deliver a hysterical feature. Based off a short film Baruchel and Rogen did in 07 before they really blew up, this feature blends the apocalyptic genre, which is at its pinnacle these days given the zombie genre revitalization some 5-6 years ago, and great self parody among these actors. Let’s face it, these guys are celebrities, whether they like it or not, whether we like it or not. Quite frankly, I’m not a big fan of Rogen or Hill. I do however enjoy me some Franco, whose comedic chops are underappreciated in my opinion. (The Oscars hosting gig isn’t fair, so don’t bring that up to shoot him down) Craig Robinson is a ball when he shows up in anything, and you have to show love to the Chicago native who made it. Baruchel has some decent showings; “She’s out of my League” is a solid comedy flick from 09, albeit a lower publicized one. And who the hell in their right mind does not like Danny McBride, a.k.a. Kenny Powers. The big thing here is all these guys could have just used this opportunity to be narcissistic, and flaunt their fame and status/personas. But they don’t. Now, you get instances of past characters they’ve played, it comes with the territory of being a famous actor. It’s nearly impossible to diminish with a movie concept like this. But they all play off it perfectly. McBride is just as big a jagoff as you’d expect the guy who plays Powers to be. Baruchel is the not so famous, but you still know me fellow. Rogen is who you’d think he be, Robinson too. Hill’s the guy who thinks he’s doing good, and a bit condescending thanks to an Oscar nod (Moneyball). And Franco is the cool, top dog of them all, just as his status is in reality. There are priceless other celebrity cameos throughout, including a fantastic turn by Michael Cera, and a satisfying end to Aziz Ansari.
The film starts with Baruchel and Rogen, lifelong buddies, reuniting in LA for some fun. Eventually, Rogen suckers Baruchel into attending Franco’s house party with other colleagues. Once there, you realize how cool it would be to actually know and party with all these guys, or at the least, have their type of money and success and do this with your own friends. One of the beauties of this movie is the relatable aspect. You see all the roles they assume in their clique, and immediately think of your own. Another great concept is the whole being left behind aspect of the Apocalypse. You see these guys, still stuck on Earth being kept out of Heaven and wonder; “Damn, I’m a real son of a bitch myself, a damn sinner. I’d be stuck right there with them.” But there’s still hope for us all as well. There is so much going on in their struggle to survive. And you can’t help but laugh along the way, because once the Rapture hits, and these guys are restricted to Franco’s house, the real fun begins. They play off of one another so well, equally feeding each other, and never selfishly try to steal the show themselves, trying to carry the picture. Along the way, the conflicts arise, the tensions flow, but the laughter never ceases. Supplies run short, panic kicks in, dysfunction amongst each other. I don’t want to reveal too much, or ruin other cameos, so I won’t describe many scenes or quotes. But the film eventually reaches its conclusion, and in epic fashion. Demons that are reminiscent of “Ghostbusters” and “The Exorcist.” The horror blend is priceless. An unbelievable usage of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” pops up for sentiment that forces a smile, followed by an ending that reunites a certain group in heaven.
All in all, I highly recommend this movie. I had a smirk on my face essentially from beginning to end. The only reason I can think of not seeing it is if you have a burning hatred for all these actors, which I don’t think is possible to dislike all of them. Even if you don’t like certain guys, like me, you’ll still get a kick out of everything going on. Rogen, Goldberg, and Baruchel took a great idea from years ago and multiplied it now that they are famous and have resources, and it works so well. And best of all, they got to do it with friends along the way. Now that’s a dream come true.
RATING: 3.5 stars