Once more, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (“The Watch”) give us a dose of their potty-mouthed imagination. But this time, it’s not just as writers or actors — it’s as directors. That’s right: Comedy’s man-child dream team has grown up. Kind of.
This is the End
Their directorial debut, “This is the End,” is a happy hodgepodge of some of comedy’s biggest names: Rogen, James Franco (“127 Hours”), Jonah Hill (“21 Jump Street”), Danny McBride (“Pineapple Express”) and more. Portraying hyperbolized versions of themselves, the gang of nincompoop stoners we’ve grown to love — and Emma Watson (“Perks of Being a Wallflower”) — are stuck together as the world comes to a horrific end. Naturally, there’s a lot of four-letter words, used to glorious effect, loony antics, explosions, extreme/ironic violence and unpredictable improv.
Yet, “This is the End” reminds us well why it is we continue going to their movies. Though their gross-out humor lacks the same shock it once packed, the jokes still feel fresh, and Rogen and Goldberg’s latest (perhaps most important thus far) is built on a fresh concept. And as always, their humor and improv gags are welcoming in a way you could call authentic. Their friendship steps into the film itself. They feel less like actors and more like real people, real friends. And truly, that is why we keep watching them. That is why we laugh with them, not at them.