Director and co-writer Edgar Wright, actor and co-writer Simon Pegg, and actor Nick Frost won everyone over with their 2004 zombie comedy "Shaun of the Dead." In 2007, they re-teamed for the action comedy "Hot Fuzz." In 2013, they'll complete what has been dubbed the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy (also known as the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy) with the sci-fi comedy "The World's End." Can "The World's End" live up to the hilarious reputation of the first two films in this glorious trilogy? While everyone will have their favorite, "The World's End" doesn't disappoint and is extremely satisfying for completely different reasons in comparison to its zombie and action packed brethren.
Gary King (Simon Pegg) is obsessed with what transpired in the past. While his friends Andy (Nick Frost), Steven (Paddy Considine), Peter (Eddie Marsan), and Oliver (Martin Freeman) have all grown up and become family and/or businessmen, Gary is only devoted to reliving his glory days. So Gary comes up with a scheme to get all of his friends back together for one last hurrah. They'll all return to their hometown of Newton Haven and complete the golden mile; a bar-hopping event encompassing the 12 pubs in town all in one night. But something seems amiss in Newton Haven as most of its inhabitants don't remember Gary and his friends. Little do they know that the fate of the world rests in their drunken hands.
As you follow Gary around as he tries to convince his friends to go drinking with him after so long, you begin to realize that he has a few issues that he's trying to cover up. While this is hinted at early on, it is uncovered little by little with every pub these five friends visit. Gary is extremely eager to do the golden mile, but is also very manipulative, a compulsive liar, and a hazard to those around him. It's quite a different turn for Simon Pegg, who usually plays the wholehearted hero. Gary King is like the anti-hero of nearly every role Simon Pegg has ever portrayed. Nick Frost also shows a bit of a different side to him as he mostly portrays a man who's trying to turn his life around and win his wife back. He's like a one man wrecking ball while him and Gary have one hell of a brawl that seems to be three films in the making.
The film revolves around holding onto the past. While it's a bit depressing and immature at first as you can probably expect, it actually turns into a factor in assisting Gary and his friends in the second half of the film against the threat that's taken over Newton Haven. Eccentric British humor is what drives the first half hour or so of the film. Gary's inept behavior is usually at the center of everything, but other humorous instances usually involve blank stares, Andy drinking water instead of beer, selective memory, "let's booboo," problems identifying proper pronouns, a marmalade sandwich, and wondering what Andy's accident was.
Things take a different turn once Gary and the others end up in the bathroom of the fourth pub; The Cross Hands. Gary talking to a teenage boy while trying to relieve himself suddenly escalates into something else entirely. As is described by local loony old man named Basil (David Bradley), it's not necessarily an invasion. It's more of a merger and whatever these things are are "full of blue stuff." It seems like such an obvious homage to classic sci-fi, but at the same time seems like such a breath of fresh air in the way Edgar Wright and company bring it to life.
You may walk out of "The World's End" thinking "Shaun of the Dead" or "Hot Fuzz" was better than "The World's End," but each film is able to span a different film genre other than comedy and "The World's End" absolutely does the sci-fi genre proud. Edgar Wright has managed to take a concept that's so absurd and insane that it's brilliant. A simple concept matures into something rather imaginative and extraordinary. With a ton of heart, sentimentality, and a huge emphasis on friendship, "The World's End" puts a spin on the imperfections all humans have and delivers a film that is near perfect because of it.
"The World's End" was released in theaters today, August 23.