Sometimes it seems like Hollywood doesn’t have its priorities straight anymore. Film studios seem to be preoccupied with nothing but superhero sequels, movies based on board games and interminable rom-coms. But thankfully, there’s still at least one thing they’re good at: distilling a film’s premise into a two-minute clip full of quick cuts, thumping music and dramatic voiceovers. We serve up Hollywood’s hottest trailers without making you pay for a movie ticket. We all know the previews are the best part anyway.
April Fools is the Super Bowl Weekend for Internet and pop-culture hoaxes. Sometimes these jokes come in the form of movie trailers, ranging from this year's Pineapple Express 2 ruse to the fake Legend of Zelda movie trailer put out by IGN a few years back. And then there are trailers that look like jokes and turn out to be real. One such film was previewed this April 1st: the celebrity-crammed apocalypse comedy This is the End. After taking a moment to appreciate and/or mourn the fact that apocalypsecomedy has become a legitimate genre for contemporary film, let’s break this trailer down.
This Is the End
Release Date: June 12, 2013
Cast: Seth Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Aziz Ansari, Mindy Kaling and Michael Cera, plus cameos from Rihanna and Emma Watson. Pretty much everyone you like and probably a few people you don’t.
What it's about: Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel plan on spending their weekend partying with a gaggle of America’s most popular contemporary entertainers at James Franco’s house. But what starts out as a next-level rager quickly degrades into a scramble for survival as LA hills erupt in flames, sinkholes open up in the ground and people vanish in columns of blue light. Ansari, Rihanna and Cera all seem to bite it pretty early on as it becomes increasingly obvious that the apocalypse is at hand. The survivors hole up in Franco’s spacious modern home and in hopes of letting the whole thing blow over. However, as the world outside falls apart and the boys realize they only have beer, drugs and a single Milky Way to survive on, they make the difficult decision to venture out into post-apocalyptic LA. At some point, Emma Watson hits Rogen in the head with a shovel and takes all the gang’s stuff. I assume that that’s when things start getting real.
What it's missing: Pretty much nothing. The jury is still out on whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, we get Michael Cera blowing cocaine in people’s faces and Aziz Ansari begging for his life over a pit of flames. On the other hand, we get hilarious people like Mindy Kaling appearing in the trailer and apparently just disappearing. So we're either about to witness a bunch of our favorite stars dying in hilarious ways or vanishing anticlimactically. I think we all know which side to root for. However, I worry a little that throwing so many stars into this flick will give only a few of them a chance to shine. I suppose, however, that if all these great faces get lost in the crowd, leaving the big-name survivors to yuck it up in their place, it won’t be the end of the world.