A Review: The World’s End26th August, 2013
In a weekend of non-Disney women wearing clam-shells as tops or former Disney women embarrassing themselves with some onstage ‘twerking’, it would be excusable to think this soon-to-be-dated post titled ‘The World’s End‘ may actually be about the long prophesied Armageddon. Alas, and thankfully, it is not.
The World’s End is the third in director Edgar Wright’s and co-writer/star Simon Pegg’s sardonic “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy (one of its more popular trilogy nicknames). For the few unfamiliar with the previous two; the first is ZomCom Shawn of the Dead and the second is the big-time suburban action movie, Hot Fuzz. Though often referred to as a trilogy, the three movies do not share any of the same characters. Instead, they are tied together by a familiar troupe of actors, Wright and Pegg’s writing, Wright’s directorial style and the resulting satire. If you haven’t seen them, you have permission to stop reading and go watch them. Now.
The World’s End opens with Gary King (Simon Pegg) giving a narrative of the best night of his life, when he and his four best mates graduate high school and embark on a 12-stop pub crawl through their hometown of Newton Haven – culminating at the final and titular ‘The World’s End’ pub. This nostalgic narration resolves with present day Gary at an AA meeting and the spark of a plan in his eyes – to, once again, take on Newton Haven’s “Golden Mile” pub crawl. The brilliance of the first 15 minutes is in the distillation of the post-Apatow ‘man-child’ character into the refreshingly far-fetched-if-he-wasn’t-British Gary King. This allows Wright to pit a quick but detailed sketch of Gary as the counterargument to his four, now estranged, childhood friends he convinces to join him. Collectively, Andrew (Nick Frost), Steven (Paddy Considine), Oliver (Martin Freeman) and Peter (Eddie Marsan), are the embodiment of responsible adulthood. Each shaded with their own troubles and secrets that illustrate how they are more like their gregarious, de facto leader than is first apparent; while, in the same stroke, coloring in Gary’s more complicated persona.
Oh, and did I forget to mention the blue-blooded alien robots that produce some of the most outrageously fun fight scenes in years? Right, well it also has those because nothing bubbles issues to the surface faster than pub brawls with alien robots. That holy shit factor can often work to impress, but ultimately overshadow the heart and substance of any movie they’re in; happily that is not the case in The World’s End.
The final third of the movie races from one outrageous scene to another, peppering in a few star cameos and using the escalating theater to exorcise the character’s demons. If it wasn’t clear already let me state it plainly – this is one of the best movies of the year and proves to be one of the rare trilogies that ends on its best note.
- – Enjoy the inane, but most entertaining aside about pronouns you’re likely to hear.
- – The ‘Starbucksed’ theme of the movie is fun to overlay onto the various larger plot-points.
- – Oliver’s sister Sam (Rosamund Pike) is super pretty.
Verdict: ★★★★. Go see it. Now.