‘End’ doubles as both a touching rumination on middle age, and a crazy sci-fi/horror plot involving evil robots (but don’t call them that to their face).
Pegg plays Gary King, a stunted adult who peaked in his 20’s, forever obsessed with finishing a pub-crawl in his hometown in Newton Haven, England. As young men in 1990, they failed to reach the final bar ‘The World’s End.’
Cut to present day, and King can’t move on with his life. In a desperate attempt to finish his original quest, he tracks down his four childhood friends, including Andy (Frost), who hasn’t spoken to King in years (for reasons to be explained later in the film).
After much cajoling, he convinces them to join in. But they’re all taken aback by his immature nature, given they've matured and settled.
The night begins innocuously, although they’re befuddled by the generic nature of modern drinking establishments.
But amidst the nostalgic reverie all is not what it seems. The town has been infiltrated by a bizarre race of android creatures, and King and his friend’s try to escape their wrath. But he remains obsessed with completing the pub-crawl, endangering himself and his friends.
Like ‘Shaun of The Dead’ and 'Hot Fuzz', ‘End’ is a perfect mix of suspense and humor, always centered around Pegg and Frost’s enduring on and off-screen friendship.
But what makes it different form previous entries, is the role reversal in Pegg and Frost’s characters. In the past, Frost was the man-child afraid to grow up. It's fun to see Pegg as the flake and Frost as the moral authority.
Another wonderful aspect of the film is its soundtrack, which boasts a bevy of great 90's British alternative rock tunes from bands like Suede, James, Primal Scream and Sisters Of Mercy. These musical touchstones make the movie's retrospective aspects even more effective.
Wright named ‘American Graffiti’ as an inspiration on ‘End’ and his appreciation of George Lucas's coming-of-age classic, is evident with his note perfect tale of looking back while moving forward.
'The World's End' is Rated R, and opens Friday, August 23rd.