Last Call: Review of The World’s End

12 pubs. 12 pints. 3 ultra comedy nerds. 1 golden mile. I’m in.

Rounding out the final installment of director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (named so due to the three different flavors of the popular ice cream that have been featured in all of the films – Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and now this film) is The World’s End, an adventurous riff on the classic mid-life crisis motif with some Invasion of the Body Snatchers mixed in for a bit of fun. This time around, the dynamic duo of Pegg and Frost try to recreate a past experience from their childhood (with some extremely talented friends tagging along) and accidentally stumble upon an alien invasion.

What’s the past experience? A mythical beast of an endeavor called the “Golden Mile.” You see, back in 1990, five friends started a quest to have 1 pint each in 12 different pubs along one glorious mile that surrounded their home town. However, while the evening did have it’s fun, the cause was lost and the final pub – The World’s End – was never reached. Fast-forward to 2013 and while four of the friends have moved past their young debauchery, one is still yearning to reach that epic goal.

Drink up.

While, in my opinion, not as strong an outing as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (in terms of really skewering the pop culture references of the films theme) I really enjoyed this film. Admittedly, I am a Pegg fanatic and have been since first watching the television Spaced … so possibly, I am a bit biased … but with World’s End, I was not disappointed. Quips are shot at sonic speeds and, since most of the actors involved have personal relationships, you can feel an aura of genuine fun throughout the film. Side references and easter eggs to past films fall in and out of scenes proving why this team of filmmakers are truly at the top of nerd-culture. At the same time, what quickly could have turned into a sad-sack story about missing your youth, never falls into that trap and maintains that, while very flawed, the characters are there to drink, make jokes and beat the hell out of human simulations (sorry – watch the film … you’ll understand then.)

Rounding out the cast of leads is some of Britain’s best. Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and (the crazy gorgeous) Rosamund Pike all come add to the madcap mix and each leave their own personal marks in the entourage. Hell, even Pierce Brosnan (yes, I know, he’s not British) makes his way in and leaves you wanting more.

In comparison however, I didn’t think this film was as sharp as the other two in the trilogy. Specifically, the other two films really pinpointed the genre they were going after and used that base to tell their own unique story. Here in World’s End, there is a mismatch going on in terms of the themes and while it may be easy to connect the thoughts between the crisis of growing older and an alien race with a purpose to make humans better, I didn’t feel that the two balanced each other out. In contrast, the movie Paul (2011,) directed by Greg Mottola and also starring Pegg and Frost, was stronger in terms of taking the alien-movie theme and playing with that theme.

At the same time, when the film really gets going and the main characters discover the trouble they are in, there are fight scenes thrown in that seem, at times out of place. I will admit that, the first encounter is genius fun. However, the second, third, fourth and maybe fifth seem more of the same and out of place considering, these are five just regular dudes not warrior maniacs here to protect the earth. I’m not saying that it was overly silly or unwanted – watching Frost drop the “People’s Elbow” on an enemy is pretty classic – I will say that it was a bit more than needed in some cases.

With that being said, I still enjoyed this movie a lot. A hell of a lot. The confidence of the filmmakers is abundantly apparent and they know how to be true to the story they want to tell while entertaining their fan base. Along with that, I appreciate that, while certain relationships are similar (in terms of best friends), the characters that Pegg and Frost have played are vastly different from film to film and includes here.

The bottom line:If you’re a fan of the ever-budding nerd-culture and of Wright’s previous films, you will enjoy this. A master at making cult classics right from the start, The World’s End is a film that will be shared, referenced and laughed about for year’s to come. With another wonderful weekend here, there’s no better way than to grab seat, order a pint and tag a long through the Golden Mile.

4 out of 5 Marmalade Sandwiches

Leave a Reply