Anchor Bay // 2013 // 90 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 25th, 2014
Nothing can stop it.
My expectations for this, yet another Syfy disaster offering, were about at lows as it gets. Which is saying something since I go into these things with an anticipation level somewhere at absolute zero Kelvin. Not helpful: the End of the World disc might just have the worst cover art I've seen in years. It looks the disc jacket to 12-year-old's A/V project.
But, friends, I am here to tell you, End of the World is easily the best SyFy disaster movie I have ever seen. I know that sounds like damning with faint praise, but the movie is legit. It's actually a fun little film, regardless of the sad-sack brethren that occupy its enclave.
The reason it works is simple: it's got a decent sense of humor...and not some contrived Sharknado bullcrap, either. The writing is smart, self-deprecating and meta without getting schticky. At the forefront of it is Greg Grunberg (Heroes), who turns in an energetic, funny performance and seems like he's actually enjoying being in this movie.
Grunberg is Owen Stokes, the owner of a crummy video store and an obsessive aficionado of disaster movies. He and his dopey friends spend all day fantasizing how they would react if the end of the world actually happens and, lo and behold, mysterious balls of lighting begin raining down from the sky, destroying property and vaporizing bystanders.
Owen and company figure the only way to stop whatever is happening is to track down Dr. Walter Brown (Brad Dourif), a prolific director of disaster movies and a former NASA scientist or something. It doesn't make sense, really, but go with it. What ensues is a road movie of sorts filled with debris and rudimentary special effects and snappy dialogue and a boatload of pop culture references that are actually clever and not cloying.
Or maybe this is just a personal bias? Having endured an unfathomable number of terrible made-for-TV movies featuring metal tornadoes, megaquakes, and typhoons tossing exploding boulders, watching a film lampoon the genre is a much-appreciated salve.
Nah, End of the World is actually good fun.
You won't hate yourself if you see it. Promise.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Anchor Bay
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2013
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13