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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Jay and Seth Versus the Apocalypse" is a 9-minute short film, in which
comedy actors Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen play versions of themselves.
The two live in a shabby apartment in an apocalyptic world and have all
kinds of issues to deal with, such as the lack of water. Roger also
wrote the script here with Evan Goldberg and director Jason Stone.
Goldberg directed the movie "The is the End", which is loosely based on
this short film here and features many more well-known actors.
Unfortunately, I must say that this movie here is really going nowhere. I do not think it is a comedy, only because of the actors in there are mostly known for comedy movies. There is some dark humor in here, but especially with the ending, I'd rather classify it as a drama movie. But it does not deliver in that area either and same can be said about the horror genre. It's a bit of everything, but not convincingly elaborated on in any area. That is also why I won't recommend it. Watch the full feature instead. That ons is much better. Much funnier.
Jason Stone is the director of this odd little short film that somehow,
years later, inspired Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg - who were involved
in writing and producing this - to make the wonderfully sophomoric and
smart-dumb This is the End. This short just has Seth and Jay, who we
later see in the feature, as 'themselves', though it's not quite the
kind of apocalypse that one might see in the feature (it should be
noted you can check out the short on the blu-ray of 'End'). It's mostly
an excuse for the filmmaker to show off a ratty and scuzzy apartment
the two characters of the same actors names are in, and how they argue
throughout about going outside or doing this or that or not. It's not
really 'bad', but it's not all that funny, except for a few quips that
sound unscripted. The acting is kind of forced - I think Rogen was
still getting better as an actor but not quite there yet - as they
argue about the roof or faucets or food or whatever. It's only ten
minutes long, but feels longer, mostly due to pacing.
Again, not a badly made film at all, if anything Stone should be commended for a creepy atmosphere and an ambiance of dread, as everything is dark and weird and off-putting just in the look of the location. I just wish that there was more focus in what Rogen and Baruchel were doing together on screen. Anything that's funny is kind of accidental, and the end is inevitable but probably could've used a little more time to set up or execute. I sound like I'm hard on this, but it's mostly due to expectations: after loving the feature so much I thought the short would be this cool little nugget that could be worked upon. There's no real satire here about celebrity, it's just a couple of goofs trying to figure stuff out but not very well, or very entertaining is the thing.
It's a good curiosity, though I can see why the filmmakers decided to expand it and make it more of an epic comedy about vanity and ego. There's only slivers of that here, and a lot of, frankly, tedium.
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