This Is the End

This is the plot of This Is the End: Visiting from the Canadian motherland, Jay Baruchel meets up with his pal and countryman Seth Rogen in L.A., where they try to get past post-Rogen-sellout estrangement through partying at James Franco’s place. It’s not really Jay’s scene, but the apocalypse starts just as he’s about to bail. That means holing up with Rogen, Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, and Jonah Hill — all playing (with) themselves — for the desperate stoner-raunch survivalism of roughing out a lo-fi sequel to Pineapple Express, dodging violent deaths, and bucking for Redemption. As proof of concept for a reality series about crudely dueling Apatow alumni, this might work. As a summer movie? Well, fine, whatever. Seemingly a lark for Rogen and his co-writer and co-director Evan Goldberg, it is at least on preposterousness par with celebrity-stuffed disaster-movie precedents. And it does make the most both of Baruchel’s natural appeal and of a solicitously slumming Emma Watson cameo. The joke of Hollywood self-indulgence as the last straw for a vengeful God is not entirely unfunny.