Seth Rogan’s This is the End, by having the actors “play themselves” offers a take on the question: What would a famous person do in X situation?  This time, the X situation is the end of the world.  Some other great Seth Rogan movies are Superbad, , Knocked Up, Pineapple Express and Funny People.

Simon Pegg’s, The World’s End,  is the story of five high school buddies who, 20 years after graduating high school, return to their hometown to re-attempt a 12 pub pub crawl only to suddenly become involved in a fight to save humanity.  The World’s End is the third in a trilogy which are ode’s and send up of Hollywood blockbuster type movies by writer/actor Simon Pegg.  The first two are 2004’s zombie horror movie send up called Shaun of the Dead and his take on action flicks called Hot Fuzz (both extremely funny and both worth watching).

I mean, it sound plausible.  It could happen.

This Is The End is the story of how a group of Hollywood actors get stuck at James Franco’s house during the apocalypse and how they “save” themselves.  Seth Rogan gathers together a group of actors who have appeared with him in several movies such as James Franco, Jay Baruchel, Craig Robinson and Jonah Hill.

This is the End movie poster.

British Humor v. American Humor: Writing is Key

Both movies are wacked out, out of this world and contain lots of laugh out loud moments. What is different is how each film tackles the humor.  Here the writing is key and it is in this context that the difference between British and American humor comes through.  Both movies rely for the most part on the interplay between each group of men as they deal with the situations they find themselves in. 

The World’s End is full of sarcastic whit and dialogue in which the actors “take the piss out of each other,” as the British say. The whole group of actors in The World’s End seem to relish every on screen moment and the interplay between them is truly to be savored; as the pub crawl continues,  the drunker they get, the more hilarious the conversation becomes between them.  Nigel Frost is absolutely brilliant as Andy who, after years of not drinking becomes the drunkest of the lot. Simon Pegg’s costars are several actors who have starred with him in movies before such as Nick Frost of Shaun of the Dead fame. 

This is the End relies much more on the raunchy shock humor that is a mainstay of Seth Rogan, Judd Apatow and the like.  One too-long argument between Danny McBride and James Franco about masterbating and cumming and how and where to cum and what to cum on is funny, but plays for far too many laughs and ends up being uncomfortable.  You are laughing at the pure unadulterated raunchiness of the dialogue, not because the lines themselves are all that funny. You just want the scene to end. 

The World's End

Simon Pegg and Seth Rogan

The World’s End and This is the End are odes to apocalyptic science fiction movies focusing on how people react in the most extreme situations.  The former centers around ordinary people and how they deal with the fact that aliens have invaded their childhood hometown; the humor involves their situation of course, but also is inspired by lingering memories and resentments of their school days.  Seth Rogan, by having the actors play “themselves” also demonstrates that they are people too with their own likes and dislikes, loyalties, resentments and petty jealousies. It was fan pearing into their lives even if we new they were just on screen personas.

So which is better?  British or American Humor?  You have to decide for yourself.  What I can say is that both are worth watching.  Both will be relaeased soon in DVD and Blu Ray so they are both worth checking out.