As the third entry in the trio’s Cornetto trilogy, “The World’s End” is a unique sci-fi film that features boosts an impressive ensemble, but the movie is not quite as funny as it predecessors.
Twenty years ago, five friends embarked on the Golden Mile as they attempt to drink a pint of beer at 12 pubs. Filled with regret in only reaching to the 9th pub, Gary King (Simon Pegg) gets the gang back together in order to relive their younger days and finish the Golden Mile. Reluctant at first, Andrew (Nick Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Oliver (Martin Freeman) reunite with Gary once again as they return to their hometown of Newtown Haven to restart their epic pub crawl that they never finished. However, they eventually discover that most of the townspeople have been replaced with robotic aliens and their only hope for survival is to reach the 12th and final pub, the World’s End.
Just like they did with the horror and action films in “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright take a genre like sci-fi and utilize familiar tropes to create their own version of “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” meets “Stand By Me.”
Unlike Shaun and Nicolas, it is hard to root for Gary because he is borderline annoying and his reckless behavior puts his friends in danger. Always typecast as the goofy one, Frost does a good job when he finally gets to play the straight man to Pegg’s maniac. The film does feel more like an ensemble piece this time around as the movie does not rest solely on the shoulders of Pegg and Frost. They get some great support from its cast which includes Freeman as a stuck-up real estate agent and the underrated Marsan as a repressed and unhappy car salesman.
Wright’s directorial trademarks are present in “The World’s End” from the rapid-paced editing to martial arts choreographed fight sequences. There is even a short, but clever scene that pays tribute to John Carpenter’s “The Thing” and Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws.” However, the movie isn’t consistently funny as its predecessors. There are small jokes here and there that often hit its target, but none of the dialogue from “The World’s End” lives up to par to the memorable and hilarious dialogue from “Shaun of the Dead” or “Hot Fuzz.”
The script felt very convoluted in terms of jam-packing the movie with a lot of interesting ideas except that the payoff for those ideas never really makes the mark. The ending is downright silly and feels like a departure from the tone of the rest of the movie.
It is good to see Pegg, Frost and Wright reunite once again for “The World’s End.” However, the movie isn’t nearly as hilarious or as funny as the last two films of the Cornetto trilogy. Ultimately, the result is a hodgepodge of jokes and ideas that are not fully executed to the extent of their potential.
“The World’s End” opens in South Florida theaters tomorrow. Click here for showtimes.