The World's End Review
Bursting with laugh out loud moments The World’s End applies the same formula which made its Cornetto Trilogy predecessors, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, so successful; this time with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and co delving into the sci-fi genre. Getting the old gang back together to successfully complete the pub crawl they never managed as teenagers, Gary King discovers that not everyone is as enthusiastic as him when it comes to reliving the past. But while he’s trying to get everyone into each of the twelve pubs he can’t help but realise that his hometown isn’t quite the way he remembers it. Has he really changed that much? Nope, alien robots.
Pegg takes on the role of the alcoholic, depressed has-been Gary so well that you find yourself questioning whether the pressure of delivery such a highly anticipated film hasn’t finally got to him and he’s no longer acting. It appears easy for him to slip into such a role and yet despite this, there’s little similarity in his performance to that of his previous roles, eliminating any risk of boredom for the audience. No longer the useless sidekick Nick Frost takes to being the more responsible and emotionally mature of the pair surprisingly well. There’s even the sense that in this final film Frost’s character is the Shaun/Nicholas of the previous two instalments, as he refuses to abandon his best friend (even though he deserves it) because... well, because that’s what mates do.
The two trilogy veterans are joined by Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine, and Rosamund Pike as they take on their hometown and each one is a welcome addition to the cast. The other members of Gary’s ‘gang’ enhance how much he is unwilling to move on from his high school dreams (“That’s a great name for a band” he continually quips at them), but as the film progresses they easily fall back into the old patterns of friendship. Pike does her job well as the love interest but not in the way you might suspect, and there are a whole host of other well-known names in the extended cast, with a few you won’t have seen in the trailers.
Possibly the only blemish on the face of an otherwise brilliant film is the fact that the sci-fi element of The World’s End feels slightly out of place. Shaun of the Dead for all its uniqueness was undeniable a zombie movie and Hot Fuzz is an action film. The World’s End doesn’t quite feel like a sci-fi film, in reality its closer to a midlife crisis comedy. Having said that, Edgar and Pegg’s take on a midlife crisis comedy is still tonnes better than the average film hitting cinemas at the moment but the sci-fi element lacks a solid basis throughout.
On the other hand The World’s End has many more laugh-out-loud moments in it, which is saying a lot considering it’s the final entry in a trilogy, and there’s no sign that their brand of humour has gone stale. Without a shadow of a doubt you can tell how much fun it was to make for all involved and at the end of the day that’s what it’s all about. Pegg, Frost and Wright just wanted to make films they found funny and entertaining and that plan of action certainly hasn’t steered them wrong so far. As Frost tells the audience in the concluding narrative of The World’s End, “All he ever wanted was to have a good time”, and there’s no doubt that this delivers on that and more.