Review: The World’s End

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Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright complete their unofficially titled “Cornetto Trilogy” with the much-anticipated final part, The World’s End.

After great success with previous entries in the trilogy, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the pressure was on for the writing pair, however fans should rest assured that this film delivers with exhilarating action, genuine laughs and a surprising amount of heart.

The film follows five childhood friends as they return to their old hometown to complete ‘The Golden Mile’, an epic pub-crawl that they failed to finish twenty years previous.  Simon Pegg leads the cast as Gary King, “The King among men”, an, initially, unlikeable man-child who is hell-bent on reuniting the ‘five musketeers’ to complete the fabled twelve-pub-crawl, beginning at The First Post and ending at the elusive World’s End.  Joining Pegg along for the ride are Martin Freeman (Oliver), Paddy Considine (Steven), newcomer to the trilogy Eddie Marsan (Peter) and of course the ever faithful companion Nick Frost (Andy).  The characters themselves might seem formulaic at first, (successful, married with kids, grown ups) however, one of the largest strengths of this film is that these guys appear believable as old friends who have lost touch and after a few pints they relax into more appealing and sympathetic characters that the audience can root for.

Like the mixture of chocolate, ice-cream and wafer that make up a Cornetto, The World’s End is not simply a comedy.  After satirising horror and action in the previous films Pegg and Wright have chosen science fiction as a backdrop this round (no pun intended).  As the men return to their hometown they slowly (nearly halfway through the crawl) begin to suspect that the town is not what it used to be.  Rather than just the passage of time and the promise of nostalgia, the town has changed, it has now been taken over by an alien invader and blue-blooded ‘robots’ have replaced the residents.

In a nice nod to Pegg and Wright’s TV show Spaced, the robots are revealed in the toilets of one of the pubs and what ensues is the first of several fast paced, brilliantly choreographed and hilarious fight scenes.  In an age of overused CGI and shaky cam techniques it is refreshing to see a brawl where you know exactly who’s hitting whom.  Wright’s direction during action scenes has clearly been perfected since working on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a style of shooting that is altogether his own.

As the friends progress on their quest, the pubs are ticked off and the pints are downed, the film becomes a funnier experience, for both the audience and the characters within the film (watching it drunk would only add to this).  Despite the danger that threatens them they will break out in a fit of giggles at the simplest of things (graffiti for example) but as the final pubs are in sight there is an unexpected but very well judged poignant moment, played to perfection by the leads Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

As well as the plot dealing with the idea of nostalgia, the film itself is nostalgic for the fans that have followed the careers of Wright, Pegg and Frost since Spaced.  Recurring jokes and cameo appearances should excite without being too obvious and in your face; thankfully there is no “You’ve got blue on you.” line.

The World’s End is an exciting, extremely funny and very British film with a number of twists for good measure and although it marks the end of the “Cornetto Trilogy” it has been worth the wait, and a pint of the gold stuff has never looked so good on camera.

 

Watch the trailer:

 

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