What if they gave a Rapture and you weren't invited?
That was the idea behind Michael Tolkin's 1991 film The Rapture, as well as Tom Perrotta's 2009 novel, The Leftovers. What if you were a skeptic -- and your very skepticism resulted in you missing out on the very thing you refused to believe in?
That's also the comic notion at the heart of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's This Is the End, which was extrapolated from a short film they'd made, Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse. Rogen and Goldberg -- who can take credit for writing Superbad and the blame for writing The Green Hornet - cowrote and codirected this film, in which Rogen is one of the stars.
The gimmick is that Rogen and his co-stars -- Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Craig Robinson, Jonah Hill and Danny McBride, among others -- are all playing versions of themselves. They've all come together at Franco's mansion for a housewarming, when Doomsday suddenly arrives.
The set-up is simple. Baruchel, who lives in Canada, has come to L.A. to visit and hang with Rogen, who he hasn't seen in a while. The reason: Baruchel grew tired of the L.A. lifestyle and what it was doing to him. So he comes to town to work or to visit, but that's it.
He's not excited about the idea of going to Franco's party. When Rogen starts listing the people who will be there, Baruchel has a reason not to want to see each of them. Either he doesn't know them, doesn't like them or is convinced that they don't like him. But Rogen promises not to ditch him at the party and they go.
Everyone IS there -- from Michael Cera to Aziz Ansari to Mindy Kaling to Emma Watson. When Baruchel runs out of cigarettes, he and Rogen walk down to a convenience store, where all hell breaks loose -- literally.
This review continues on my website.