In a cinematic summer that seems hell-bent on destroying Hollywood, Hong Kong and even the entire planet Earth, spare a thought for the citizens of Newton Haven. It might be a fictional village, but something rather nasty is happening to it…
Closing off the loosely-connected Cornetto Trilogy that started nearly ten years ago with Shaun of the Dead, The World’s End may not be as bombastic as, say, Pacific Rim, but it packs a heck of a punch… just not where you expect.
Last orders, gents…
Title : The World’s End
Directed by : Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World,…)
Starring : Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddy Marsan, Rosamund Pike,…
Running time : 109 minutes
Certificate : 15
During a group therapy session, hedonistic man-child Gary King (Simon Pegg) gets an idea : to reunite his estranged school friends and re-attempt an epic pub crawl called “The Golden Mile”. Having failed to reach the final pub (the fabled “The World’s End”) when they were teenagers, Gary is hell-bent on righting that wrong.
His friends however, not so much. He manages to convince Peter (Marsan), Oliver (Freeman) and Steven (Considine), but they remain reluctant as they show up on the day. To their surprise, their mate Andrew (Frost) has also showed up, despite obvious lingering tensions between him and Gary.
The five hit Newton Haven, their home town and scene of The Golden Mile. After a while, it becomes clear that there’s something very wrong with the town, and when Gary gets into a fight with an inhumanly strong teenager in the pub toilets, accidentally knocking his head off and exposing him as a robot, The Golden Mile takes a turn for the sinister.
As I mentioned in my introduction, The World’s End packs a powerful punch, but not in the areas you’d expect. On the surface, it may seem like your standard humans v. aliens story, but there is an emotional core that may surprise you.
Breaking the tradition of Pegg playing the straight man to Frost’s loveable man-child and switching roles pays off brilliantly. Frost is excellent as Andrew, Gary’s former wing man turned lawyer. And Pegg brings an unexpected dark twinge to the role of Gary, at first sight an irresponsible idiot but with incredible sadness bubbling just under the surface.
If Shaun of the Dead was the brains, and Hot Fuzz the courage, then The World’s End can easily be called the heart of the trilogy. Opting not to adhere to the formula that worked so well for the former two, End instead adds gravitas to the comedy, making you laugh but also making sure you sit up and nod in recognition. Wright, Pegg and Frost have matured greatly through the years, and this film is a wonderful result of that.
See it if …
You liked the first two films and aren’t keen on the bigger blockbusters this summer; You like your films accompanied by a cool soundtrack (Sisters of Mercy, Pulp and James feature, amongst others); You’re a firm believer in “save the best for last”, like the last bit of a Cornetto with the surprise chocolate.
Avoid if …
You think it’s just another alien invasion film; You want more explosions and bigger robots ; You were actually planning on doing a pub crawl tonight, in which case, do that before you see this.