Comedies don't get much more self-referential than this film, in which a bunch of old friends get together and play themselves facing a biblical-style apocalypse. But they also don't get much funnier. Writing partners Rogen and Goldberg (Superbad, Pineapple Express) move into directing with this super-charged bromance that finds surprising resonance amid a constant barrage of vulgarity, in-jokes and end-of-the-world mayhem.
Rogen also stars as himself, happy that his childhood friend Jay is coming to visit him in Los Angeles. Jay prefers to live at home in Canada, far from the plastic L.A. scene, so Seth sets aside the first day with video games and lots of weed. Then they head to James' house for a starry Hollywood party, during which a series of massive earthquakes kills off most of the A-list guests. Seth, Jay and James survive, along with Jonah, Craig and Danny, and as they set up camp in James' mansion, their friendships are strained. Mainly because Danny eats their supply of food, Jay wants to go home, and Jonah is simply too nice to be believed. Until he's possessed by an angry demon.
The blinding array of cameos gives the film's early scenes a terrific kick, as big stars hilariously spoof their public personas before meeting a variety of fiery ends. An especially spiky Watson gets a few extra scenes of her own, while Cera has the most fun as a diva obsessed with sex and drugs. And Tatum gets the most jaw-dropping moment. But it's our six heroes who hold the film together, and their camaraderie adds a surprising warmth, most notably in the central bromance between Rogen and Baruchel.
While poking fun at themselves, these actors also get a chance to lampoon their careers, with pointed gags aimed at everything from 127 Hours to Green Hornet. In quarantine, they even have time to make their own riotous Pineapple Express sequel. Rogen and Goldberg pack the movie with rapid-fire gags, so even if one falls flat something else is already making us gasp with laughter. Much of this is utterly stupid, as it should be, but what really wins us over is the way the film wallows in the love these men have for each other.
Run time: 107 mins
In Theaters: Wednesday 12th June 2013
Box Office USA: $101.5M
Distributed by: Sony Pictures
Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Mandate Pictures, Point Grey Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Fresh: 171 Rotten: 35
IMDB: 6.8 / 10
Starring: James Franco as James Franco, Jonah Hill as Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen as Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel as Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride as Danny McBride, Craig Robinson as Craig Robinson, Michael Cera as Michael Cera, Emma Watson as Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling as Mindy Kaling, David Krumholtz as David Krumholtz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Rihanna as Rihanna, Martin Starr as Martin Starr, Paul Rudd as Paul Rudd, Channing Tatum as Channing Tatum, Kevin Hart as Kevin Hart, Aziz Ansari as Aziz Ansari, Jason Segel as Jason Segel
Also starring: Evan Goldberg
As with his Formula One documentary Senna, filmmaker Asaf Kapadia cleverly uses archival footage to...
This declining franchise really needed a jolt to the head, but the producers disappointingly opt...
Resisting the temptation to capitalise on the camp value of these characters, Channing Tatum and...
Wacky enough to make us smile but never laugh out loud, this screwball comedy harks...
A relentless onslaught of violent action, this movie is notable mainly because there's a woman...
First-time feature filmmaker John Maclean takes a strikingly original approach to the Western, creating a...
Despite this being a film about Sherlock Holmes, the fact that it's not much of...
Both shameless and shamelessly entertaining, this relentlessly boyish movie carries on exactly as the TV...