This Is The End is definitely a unique movie. It’s also an interesting example of postmodernism. The film is filled with references to other movies and the actors’ lives and requires previous knowledge of their personas. The film plays off the personalities of the characters they usually play as well as their real-life attitudes. One of most hilarious examples is Michael Cera’s character (he plays himself as does everyone else). In the film, he is brash and confident, smacking Rihanna’s ass and doing cocaine. The joke is that this is the polar opposite of the characters he usually plays and his temperament in real life.
If you hadn’t seen any of his previous roles, you probably wouldn’t get the joke. This is what makes This Is The End postmodern, it requires knowledge of other films and TV shows. Danny McBride also plays off his onscreen persona. He’s obnoxious and constantly insults those around him, similar to his character in Eastbound and Down.
There are numerous references to other films, making This Is the End an intertextual postmodern experience. Emma Watson is in the movie and Danny McBride talks about how he’s a huge Harry Potter fan. James Franco is referred to as the Green Goblin and he uses the camera from 127 Hours. They talk about making a sequel to Pineapple Express and how they shouldn’t make a sequel to Your Highness. When Jonah Hill prays to god he refers to himself as Jonah Hill from Moneyball. The film also parodies The Exorcist when Jay Baruchel tries to exorcise a demon from Jonah Hill. If you hadn’t seen or at least heard of these movies, this film might not be quite as amusing.
The film is hilarious with barely any dull moments. It’s quite possibly the best comedy of the summer.