Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World (2012)

A film of apocalyptic proportions

A seventy-mile wide asteroid named Matilda is on a collision course to Earth, giving the world only three weeks left until impact, at which time all of humanity will be wiped out. During a riot, Dodge (Steve Carell) escapes in a car with his neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) and Dodge's newly found dog, Sorry. Dodge promises to get Penny to a man who will fly her to her family in the UK, provided Penny gets Dodge to his high school sweetheart, Olivia.

When describing a film using the words "end of the world" and "asteroid", you traditionally think of a film akin to Deep Impact or Armageddon. Rarely, do you think of a film focusing on the people stuck on Earth, with nowhere to run from their inevitable, oncoming demise. That's where first time director Lorena Scarfaria comes in, with a film focusing exactly on that.

Carell underplays the role quite brilliantly, making it seem like the end of the world is just another thing heaped onto his miserable life, as Dodge quietly accepts that his wife wasn't happy with him and still goes to his job as usual, despite there really being no need.

Keira Knightley was always one of the things I was unsure about, regarding this film from the trailers, and sadly, she didn't manage to convince me that she should've been in the film. She just didn't feel right in the role and didn't convince enough to fit the character. I do feel that Emily Blunt would've been a better choice for the role of Penny.

The characters friendship is played well, however, delivering a believable banter between the two which lets you buy in to these two people on their journey to spending their last few days with the people closest to their hearts.

One of the films strengths is in how the world is changed when the end is inevitable, and the director chooses not to focus on widespread changes such as riots and murdering, but changes , as fathers (typically played by Rob Corddry) encourage children to down alcoholic drinks, a TGI-Fridays style restaurant becomes a host to one huge orgy and people are able to hire assassinations for themselves, so that they don't have to experience the agonising build-up to the death which they can see coming from a mile away, thanks to Matilda.

The last act manages to disappoint, however, as the film goes down the predictable route which feels tacked on, and would've benefited from ending a number of minutes earlier, so that it didn't have to end on a cheesy note.

Occasionally funny moments, a well played and believable friendship and sweet character moments manage to make Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World worthy of your time.


H.A.K. said…
interesting. Good review.
Zachary Marsh said…
I wanted to check this out in theaters. Thanks for the review. Good stuff!
James Rodrigues said…
No problem, Zach. Thanks for commenting