Get out your pints and detachable limbs, we're reviewing The World's End!
Gary King (Simon Pegg) is feeling nostalgic for his happier and fun-filled past when he and his mates tried to complete the golden mile, so Gary gets his old gang back together, including Andy (Nick Frost) and Steven (Paddy Considine). But when they return to their home town, they find that not everything is quite the same as they remember.
This is the third movie in the Cornetto trilogy of movies directed by Edgar Wright and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. They could have also called it the "Jumping Over a Fence Gag" trilogy, but I supposed that doesn't quite roll off the tongue. If you've enjoyed Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, you'll no doubt like this last installment.
One of the things I love the most about this trilogy is Edgar Wright's ability to set up a mundane lifestyle in the first half of the movie and then juxtapose it with crazy outlandishness in the second half. It happened with zombies in Shaun of the Dead, over-the-top action in Hot Fuzz, and here there be alien robots! But more than being a brilliant switch-up, in The World's End it has a greater meaning: You can never go home. Things change, people grow up, and life was never as good as how you remember it being. This is shown in no greater way than with Gary King.
Gary King is more than just your screw-up friend who can't get out of the past and shows everyone the care-free lifestyle they're missing. There's something deeply wrong with him, everyone can see it except him, and he'll do anything to deny it. Usually, he'd be the one that frees them from their mundane hell, but in this case, all his friends just wish he'd get his shit together. Things are really sad and dark, but the result is amazing character work from Pegg.
This is probably the least funny of the trilogy, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It'll never top Shaun of the Dead's classic lines, like "You've got a bit of red on you," and doesn't get quite up to the manic high-speed action satire of Hot Fuzz, but there's still a huge amount of wit and silliness as the group of friends gets more and more inebriated and bounces lines off of one another. It's actually a much more serious film, but it's still gobs of fun.
Edgar Wright's best feat as a director is his amazing editing. This doesn't have edits as quick as Hot Fuzz or as pivotal as Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. In fact, there are a lot more times where he'll do long takes. This is especially prevalent in the outstanding fight scenes between the drunkards and the evil robots. They remind me a lot of the long panning between fights in The Avengers. They're super fun, and the robots are handled in an interesting way.
All the actors do a stand-up job, but this is Simon Pegg's show. He's at his most depressing, most manic and most fun. Nick Frost comes in at a close second, as Gary's best friend and the straight cynical one of the group. There's also Martin Freeman as Oliver, who has a surprising turn halfway through.
The soundtrack is terrific. It's a collection of interstellar dubstep and classic tunes from the rock gods of London. I can't not love a soundtrack that features Sisters of Mercy. The end of The World's End took me by total surprise. I love how different it is compared to every other body-snatcher sci-fi story out there.
The World's End is a fantastic edition to the Cornetto trilogy and something you should definitely check out!
THE GOOD: Simon Pegg's acting, Edgar Wright's direction, great action, great soundtrack, funny, great story, great sci-fi.
THE BAD: Might not be as quotable as his previous films?
THE VERDICT: $$$$$ See it! Multiple times! Complete the trilogy! I wish I had seen it in a bulk showing with the other two. This will no doubt be a welcomed edition to your sci-fi movie collection.
MOVIES LIKE IT: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World, The Avengers
ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: Steven and Sam (Rosamund Pike) are having a warm conversation after seeing each other for the first time in years, when Gary butts in trying to buy Sam a drink and get her to have sex with him in the bathroom. It doesn't occur to Gary that maybe he's not the hero who gets the girl.