"This is the End": The Apatow Boys Will Fart Us Unto That Endless Night

Would you want to spend the end of the world with James Franco? In This is the End, Canadian actor Jay Baruchel comes to Hollywood to visit his old pal Seth Rogen, and is not happy to be stuck at Franco's house when the apocalypse hits. Baruchel, Rogen, and Franco play themselves, as do Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, and a host of other Apatow alums, most of whom die in gory ways when the end begins. Is it self-indulgent? Sure, but if stars are going to play themselves — or their personas, since McBride is basically doing Kenny Powers — it might as well be in the context of the world ending. Baruchel's obscurity in America makes him a decent audience surrogate, though his distaste for Franco seems a little forced. (His distaste for Jonah Hill makes more sense.) In addition to being genuinely funny, This is the End follows through with its own apocalyptic theology while still making room for dick jokes, and though Mindy Kaling's cameo feels like a tease, the Emma Watson subplot makes a reasonable case for why the movie is such a sausage party. Finally, for all its fantastical elements, This is the End acknowledges a universal truth: Nobody wants a sequel to Your Highness

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