Review: ‘This Is the End’

A hopefully prophetically titled film that plays like an absurd Europudding set during a global apocalypse.

Gallic brothers Arnaud and Jean-Marie Larrieu manage to top even their silly comedies “To Paint or Make Love” and “Journey to the Pyrenees” with “This Is the End,” a hopefully prophetically titled film that plays like an absurd Europudding set during a global apocalypse. Handsomely budgeted production, with segs shot in Canada and Taiwan, appears to be a metaphysical black comedy centered on one man’s attempt to escape a virus ravaging the globe and find true love. Chaotic plotting and laughable dialogue will signal the end of “End” in most territories. Pic went out in Gaul Aug. 19.

Mathieu Amalric plays Robinson Labordie, who, after a love affair with mystery babe Lae (Omahyra Mota, “X-Men: The Last Stand”) in Biarritz, is dumped by wife Chloe (Karin Viard) and heads south toward Bilbao, Spain, to find Lae again. En route, he keeps bumping into an old friend, opera singer Theo (Sergi Lopez), and shopowner Ombeline (Catherine Frot), both of whom have the hots for him. Handsome widescreen lensing by Thierry Arbogast is the only consistent element in a movie most thesps would be wise to delete from their resumes.

This Is the End

France

Production

A Wild Bunch Distribution release of a Soudaine Compagnie production, in association with Arena Films, France 2 Cinema, Mallerich Films, Estrategia Audiovisual, Filmagic Pictures Co. (International sales: Memento Films Intl., Paris.) Produced by Bruno Pesary. Co-producers, Paco Poch, Aileen Li. Directed, written by Arnaud Larrieu, Jean-Marie Larrieu, based on the 1991 novel by Dominique Noguez.

Crew

Camera (color, HD-to-35mm, widescreen), Thierry Arbogast; editor, Annette Dutertre; costumes, Caroline Tavernier. Reviewed at Locarno Film Festival (Piazza Grande), Aug. 8, 2009. (Also in Toronto Film Festival -- Special Presentations.) Original title: Les derniers jours du monde. French, Spanish, English dialogue. Running time: 134 MIN.

With

Mathieu Amalric, Catherine Frot, Karin Viard, Sergi Lopez, Clotilde Hesme, Omahyra Mota.

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