Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman
The end of the “Cornetto Trilogy” is a rather unique experience that stays true to the Edgar Wright predecessors (Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz), managing to bring to light the limitations of the films it aims to duplicate. The World’s End is a film that manages to mix complete ridiculousness with a serious subject of alcoholism while simultaneously being smart, serious, and absolutely hilarious.
Simon Pegg leads the way as Gary King, an alcoholic in denial who seems to believe his days in high school were the best of his life and decides to track down 4 of his old friends with whom he has fallen out of touch in order to attempt the same pub crawl the group of friends failed to complete 20 years earlier. Only this time there is quite a twist; the town has been taken over by aliens… or robots! (not sure this was completely clear. It could have been a combination of the two?). We’ll use robots the rest of the way for clarity’s sake.
Gary has some difficulties convincing his old friends to join him in his quest because… frankly… Gary sort of sucks. There is an indication of something bad happening in the past, particularly between Gary and his “best” friend Andy (played by none other than Nick Frost). Andy is tagged as Gary’s right hand man in the film but all of Gary’s thoughts are thoughts of denial and delusion. For some reason he can’t seem to let go of the past, because for him the past was the best part of his life.
Aside from the brilliant cast (including the likes of Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Rosamund Pike) this film does a wonderful job of not putting anything to waste. Just about everything that is said and every piece of scenery is there for a reason, whether it’s to cash in on a joke or play an important role in the plot, each part of this film is carefully constructed in a very organic manner.
Intermingled with the sharp humor is, of course, the excellent action that was present in the previous Cornetto films as the group of friends fight their way through the town on their way to the final pub, aptly named “The World’s End.” The action sequences are very well choreographed and don’t lose a sense of the humor that is apparent before the chaos begins. The action also retains the character development throughout the fighting and over-the-top violence, something many films fail to accomplish when events start to get hectic.
What may come as a shock to many is how well the poignant moments of the film are mixed into the bizarre world without seeming misplaced. There are a few moments in the film where the audience is really able to form a connection with the characters, and I wouldn’t even be surprised if there would be some audience members that would cry (not me… nope. I didn’t. SERIOUSLY! LEAVE ME ALONE).
After a rather mediocre summer of blockbusters, I think the first really great movie of the fall season is upon us (or a great end-cap to the Summer season if you’d rather look at it that way). There aren’t many films I’d rather watch from this year and I have to say I’m happy The World’s End came along when it did (see what I did there?).
My Rating: 4 out of 5