Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
Markus Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references
Now playing at Century 20 Oakridge Mall in San Jose, California:
Most critics are going to try and tell you that if you liked “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”, then you will like “The World’s End”. Well, I loved “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”, but “The World’s End”…ehhhh, didn’t really do it for me. In other words, the “final installment” in the Cornetto trilogy (I guess that’s what people are calling it now) is the worst one.
Synopsis: Five friends (Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine) reunite to take a second crack at a legendary pub crawl, which they failed to complete in their youth. And then, weird science fiction-y stuff happens.
While the quirky idea of a pub crawl may capture the attention of American hipsters, this premise may not be enough to entice the rest of us. That said, in defense of this movie, director Edger Wright does know his way around an action sequence, so even the most ludicrous ones still look pretty cool. Not to mention that there are some beautifully edited montages, as the gang ventures from pub to pub. And as for the acting, even though Pegg plays against type (playing the obnoxious friend, rather than the “straight” character) he is probably the best part of the movie. Not to say the rest of the cast isn’t funny, but this might be Pegg’s most complete performance, ever.
It’s the execution which fails them: It is my opinion that the best thing the trio of Pegg, Frost and Wright have always brought to the table isn’t their comedy (even though I believe that “Hot Fuzz” is a hilarious spoof on Michael Bay films and “Shaun of the Dead” is one of the funniest movies to come out of the last decade) but instead, brilliant plot structure. They both contain incredibly slow set ups, but in the end that never mattered since in the second and third acts the payoffs were so masterfully implemented. In the case of “The World’s End” however, there is a distinct flaw in execution, which in turn causes the film itself to fizzle out instead of becoming steadily more and more entertaining as it pushes forward.
Sadly, the problem with this installment doesn’t lie in its slow set up (which I had already anticipated) or its second act, which is actually very funny, with a lot of poignant observations about change and maturity. I didn’t even have a problem with the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” aspect, which did seem a bit forced, or the countless melodramatic sequences. My issue with “The World’s End” lies almost entirely with its ending. Though I won’t spoil it, here’s what I will say: In Cornetto’s past, endings consisted of a superbly choreographed culmination of setups to jokes which had been told an hour beforehand. This movie climaxes in a very snarky, very British and rather anticlimactic argument. And while post misguided climax, Wright does implement his idea of an apocalyptic spoof, for me, the final minutes go too far off the rails, dropping its pants and delving into the realm of the asinine.
Final Thought: The only people who are going to unequivocally enjoy “The World’s End” are people who loved the ending. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing whether you fall into this category or not without watching the movie. So, just take my advice: Even though I am recommending it, in the case of “The World’s End”, wait for DVD.
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