Release date: August 23, 2013
Written and directed by: Edgar Wright
Official website: focusfeatures.com/the_worlds_end/
In "The World's End", Simon Pegg plays Gary King, the guy who used to be the coolest guy in Newton Haven -- at least he thought he was the coolest guy, but really he seems to have been a bit of a pain. Now approaching 40, Gary hasn't quite grown up yet and spends most of his time in AA meetings glorifying the good old days when he and his mates once attempted the Golden Mile, a pint at 12 different pubs.
They fell short of their goal when they were teenagers, but Gary is determined to get the band back together, and give it one last try to see if they can top what he considers the greatest night of his life. Over the years, Gary has drifted from his mates, played by Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine, and Nick Frost, some for more personal and tragic reasons than others.
But Gary is about to learn that you can't keep living in the past and going home isn't as easy as it sounds, especially when everyone in the old hometown has been turned into a human copy robot replacement. Gary and his buddies, figuring the only way to avoid suspicion that they've figured out the invasion plot, continue on, making their way to the World's End pub, fighting off robots and dealing with their past transgressions.
Writer and director Edgar Wright once again delivers a hilarious comedy that is peppered with thought provoking messages throughout. Much like "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz", the first two films in Wright's Cornetto Trilogy, "The World's End" is layered with themes that go much deeper than the on the surface silliness of five guys, 12 pubs, and fifty -- err 60 pints and robots filled with blue stuff.
As Gary, Simon Pegg plays one of the darker characters in any of the Wright movies, but as always his comic timing is spot on. Freeman, Marsan, and Considine, as well as Pike all have some great moments, lines, and scenes, but ultimately it's the continuing chemistry between Pegg and his buddy Nick Frost that seals the deal.
The film isn't perfect. In fact, the one weakness of the film also ties in with what has always been Wright and Pegg's greatest strengths as writers. The film is layered with messages and themes about the self-destructive path of alcoholism, society's over dependance on technology, and learning to accept life for what it is and not living in the past. As the film rolls to a close, it becomes a little unclear what the overlying message was supposed to be.
It's kinda like having lunch with friends, getting caught up on all the things you've missed out on. You laugh, you cry, but when its through you kinda feel like you've been lectured for nearly two hours and you're really not sure why or what you did wrong. It's all very confusing as if they just had so much to say but couldn't quite narrow the focus enough.
But it's a small complaint. The film is hilarious and offers a lot of originality even though it's treading some pretty run through waters. It's a movie that speaks to fans of Wright and Pegg and their previous outings together, but will still find an audience with those who aren't familiar with their brand of comedy.
When all is said and done, "The World's End" may not be as good as the other flavors of the Cornetto Trilogy, but it's a fitting end to a brilliant collaboration which has taken Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright from relative obscurities to cult phenomenons.
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