Cert: 15 Runtime: 109 mins Director: Edgar Wright Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike and David Bradley
We’re going to see this through to the bitter end. Or… lager end
And now the end is near and so I face the final curtain…..Sorry for that it has been an emotional weekend. The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy, has come to an end people. The World’s End has been on the cards for a long time for Wright, Pegg & Frost fans. This film even came out a month earlier then planned, which is always nice. This comedy trio has rejuvenated British comedy in a large way, to have success in the states with this type of British humour is amazing. So then what is The World’s End? 20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.
The World’s End is the strongest film, thematically, in the Cornetto Trilogy (Shaun is still my favourite). It’s about adulthood vs adolescence, regret, friendship and above all the state of modern society. It does not nod nearly as much towards or satirise genre like Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz. No, instead the nods and satire are mostly out and the themes are in.The film itself starts off rather slow and dry, and surprisingly, with a few funny one liners. So although it does take a bit longer to get going than may be desired, once it does, the laughter flows freely pretty much right through until the end of the film. I have no hesitations in saying it is a funny film.However, while the laughter is mostly consistent – coming from another fine Pegg and Wright script – the final 10-15 minutes are, in fact, a bit clunky and long-winded despite containing some of the most heartfelt moments of the trilogy.Furthermore, The World’s End contains many of the little recurring elements from Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz which show such loving attention to detail and continuity: the Cornettos, the Wright short-shot montages, the fantastic soundtrack, the amazing use of the word ‘C**t’, the noise of the pub fruit machine, and many other little details that have made appearances in the previous two films are here.
The cast gelled very well for me, Gary King for me is Pegg’s darkest character to date. He plays this joker of the pack with such a dark underbelly that you know will come out at some point. He is rather a different character to Shaun or Nicholas, but he does bring out some good one liners and keeps the audience entertained through out. Nick Frost was off the hook, his character transformation is just hilarious and kept me laughing through the whole film. Paddy Considine was the jewel in the crown for me, for me he was the unknown hero of the group. Originally I thought he would of been more of a background character. But he was very formidable. Eddie Marsan surprised me, as I have never seen him play such a softy before. But it does show how versatile he his. It must of been strange for Martin Freeman not being the lead, but yet again he show’s his calibre as an actor. My main issue with the film was not enough Rosamund Pike, I think the film needed more of a female lead. But when she was a bad-as female lead. There are a lot of surprise cameos in the film, so keep an eye out for them.
Despite what may appear to be a lot of grumbling with The World’s End it is still very accomplished and probably one of the better films you will see this year. Is it as funny as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz? Not quite. And it is the memory and affection for these two films and the frankly unavoidable and inevitable comparisons between them which unintentionally hurt The World’s End. The influence of these two films, on the other hand – how they got where they are to make this film – has undoubtedly not been forgotten. However, the plot itself and the more heavy thematic content in place of the fun, snappy genre references, give Pegg, Wright and Frost the air of saying that there will always be time to reflect, have fun and cherish the memories of younger, more immature days but that they are older and more mature now and it is time to move on. If this is the message we are to be left with, I will say that is a fitting way to end any a trilogy.