Sunday, August 4, 2013

STING KILLS THAT MOVIE YOU REALLY LIKE... #1 - This Is the End (Rogan/Goldberg, 2013) and why the ending failed

"Amy had a superhuman ability to pick out the one flaw in a movie that would make it impossible
to ever fully enjoy it again. During a single weekend’s George Lucas marathon, she pointed out to
me that if Indiana Jones had just stayed home, Raiders of the Lost Ark would have turned out
exactly the same way—the Nazis would have opened the ark and gotten vaporized. Then, during
The Empire Strikes Back, she paused the movie when a character referred to Luke’s ship as an “XWing,” which is impossible, she said, because there’s no way that ship should be called an “XWing” based on it being physically shaped like the English letter “X” since an ancient race of people in a distant galaxy would never have seen that letter before. Jesus, I’m making her sound like a bitch."
-This Book Is Full of Spiders! Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It! by David Wong

*SPOILERS follow here obviously*

I have essentially decided to take up a new project based on something I have a habit of doing... killing movies for everybody. There's going to be a flaw that I pick out many times in a movie that makes me the pariah among the audience I watch it with...
For example, shortly after seeing MirrorMask, I regarded it as an abstract visual wonder but a suprisingly out of character lack of true writing dimension by the usually brilliant Neil Gaiman. To his credit, I blamed it on the fact that a movie is a lot less accommodating to full writing due to pacing and time limits than the novel or the comic book is...
The resulting reaction I got was a bunch of "Shove yer opinion up yet ass."
Another one not by me, but by my friend Tony Epifanio (whose dissection of Manhunter and Red Dragon can be read here) got a little more than some glares when he insisted that the characters of Apoc and Switch in The Matrix exist only to die and do absolutely nothing else - they don't even have lines. I love the Matrix trilogy (yes, even Revolutions - one of those bad movies I admit to liking), but I can't help but agree.

Well, I figured now I'd put a section here simply for the masochistic who would love to test their passion for a film by finding that very obvious hole in the movie that lets it collapse into a bunch of meaningless shots rather than a piece of entertainment.

That first movie for me is... This Is the End... Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg's recent 2013 apocalyptic party movie.

Actually a lot of the movie felt completely unrhythmed. And I was fine with that. It's not trying to be Citizen Kane, its a funny movie (albeit a little bit self-congratulatory - save for Michael Cera, the party scenes bored the shit out of me - It was entirely a scene of "Let's show people how many famous friends we have.").
But, we are to believe each character will go somewhere. We know each has their unique flaw that's led them to their trapping in this predicament. We see signs that they'll either learn their lesson or become darker than they were before the scenario of the movie (like McBride, easily the best performance in the movie, pushed to the edge by Franco and co.'s attitude to him). For the most part, each character earns their fate (Franco deserved to be blue lighted (I don't want to go into detail for the sake of other readers who haven't seen the movie) and nearly was - but his was sealed the moment he mentioned Pineapple Express 2 - unsubtle foreshadowing.).

Jay was the one character I disliked all through the movie. Danny McBride was a horrible person, but at least he was still hilarious and besides... HE'S KENNY FUCKING POWERS!!!!
Jay was essentially the protagonist but he kind of had a douchey and superior attitude to everyone, especially the group he was stuck with in the movie. In the end, he gets a fate he didn't deserve (his apology seemed superficial and just last minute regret - or maybe it was just bad acting), and when he ends having the chance of summoning something with his mind, I thought he was going to bring back all the lost friends in a new sense of camaraderie. I thought he was going to earn his new place in heaven. I thought he learned his lesson, to value the people who took their time to make him feel welcome, even if somewhat sycophantic. To prove he was the better man instead of just acting like he was.

Nope, Chuck Testa. What we get instead is a very nostalgic but disappointing appearance by the Backstreet Boys.

The reason why this fails the movie as a whole is because now, with an unsympathetic protagonist actually winning without earning sympathy, the movie loses its theme. It loses its message. It tries to save it with Rogen and Baruchel exchanging apologies, but Rogen, throughout the movie, is more likable than Baruchel and that's just not fair that Rogen gets to go to heaven for being really honest and Baruchel is just still a judgmental dickhead.

Overall, it's a good movie for hanging out, but it's not even the best movie in any of these actors' resume. It's too vain, too rushed, too empty of a film. Jokes go on longer than they need to and the only thread making us like these people are just that we recognize them from tv.

So, that concludes my first killing of that movie you really like... Please, all my bro friends, stop giving me hate for having something against this movie.

It's okay, Emma, drop the fucking axe... I never liked you for your movies anyway!

No comments:

Post a Comment