Review #35 The World’s End
Directed by- Edgar Wright
Starring- Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman
I was very very excited to see The World’s End. I can’t think of a Pegg-Frost collaboration I don’t like. Shaun of the Dead is a genius zomedy (that’s right, I’ve made up a word), Run Fat Boy Run is a visual re-enactment of how I feel every time I go running, and Spaced seems to be based on the day (or few weeks) in the life of a geek.
I wasn’t disappointed with The World’s End. It was shot down the road from where I live so I feel slightly more attached to it than the others. The film is about Gary King (Simon Pegg), one of life’s losers who is forever living in the past and reminiscing about “the good ol’ days” spent getting drunk with friends. He decides he’s had enough, and vows to get his friends back together in their hometown of Newton Abbott, to complete the infamous pub crawl they couldn’t finish when they were 18. Somehow, they become mankind’s only hope for survival.
The World’s End is the darkest of the Cornetto Trilogy, as it’s called (the other two being Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz). It has more gallows humour, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it reaches slightly more depth than the other two films do. There are still so many laugh out loud moments though, Pegg’s character of Gary King is a low, vermin type specimen and you can’t help but laugh at the horrid things he does. The group of friends is excellently acted and the chemistry between them is exactly how you would imagine any reunion of a group of school friends after twenty years, we have: Oliver (Martin Freeman), Andrew (Nick Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan) and Steven (Paddy Considine). Andrew is our conscience throughout, every time Gary does something stupid (most of the time) we’re there with Andrew shouting “NO DON’T DO IT”. The supporting cast is also superb and surprisingly well known, with Pierce Brosnan, David Bradley and Michael Smiley all making appearances.
Now, I thought this film had differentiated itself enough from Shaun of the Dead for me to properly enjoy it. But, the last half hour had me groaning a little, thinking “this is just like Shaun of the Dead”. A loser comes to save the day once again. And it is just like that, more or less (not really giving any spoilers away here). There’s a conversation with a great big alien overlord which didn’t really make much sense to me, and the ending makes even less sense. It felt a bit like Pegg and Edgar Wright wrote the whole movie until the last half an hour, then gave it to an A-level film student who happens to really like horror, to finish.
My criticism about the ending maybe harsh, but it’s still a really good movie. It’s funny, has a definite plot, and the characters are engaging.
I don’t believe there will be another movie like this or Shaun of the Dead, but I highly doubt we’ve seen the last of Pegg and Frost. Three and a half stars.