The World’s End
Comedy (Alien, Action, Sci-Fi)
Running Time: 109 minutes
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Pierce Brosnan, David Bradley, Rosamund Pike
Directed By: Edgar Wright
Rating: 5 out of 10
A group of guy out on a pub crawl must save the world from an unknown invader.
12 pints at 12 pubs…..Kiefer Sutherland and I call that Sunday brunch! The World’s End is the story of 5 college friends that have grown apart. 20 years have passed, and they have reunited to try and finish a legendary pub crawl which they had attempted in their youth. 1 pint at 12 different pubs is the goal, but in the process they become humanities unlikeliest chance at survival.
It is too bad they couldn’t have taken the first half of this movie and then put it together with the end of Hot Fuzz. That would have been a truly funny film. Alas, we have a film that starts off great and then spirals out of control about midway through. The opening scene introduces us to the 5 college friends attempting the epic pub crawl. It is a valiant effort but it just wasn’t meant to be. Fast forward 20 years, and the group has grown up and grown apart, except for Gary King. Gary is a man drifting through life, and is stuck in the memories of his happiest moments (which are at college with his buddies.) He decides to round up his old buddies, and head back to the little college town to retry the epic pub crawl. The only problem is that his friends are career men now, with wives and families. There is humor to be found as Gary gets the old crew together. Gary sweet talks, bribes, intimidates, and ultimately bullies his friends into completing this drinking quest. Seeing these unassuming men, being led by a homeless looking Peter Pan is hilarious. Many laughs are to be had as they travel down memory lane together. Gary has the same car, same music, same stories, and same lack of ambition. He is going to complete this pub crawl at all costs though, and nothing on this Earth is going to stop him….
Gary King is played by the always hilarious Simon Pegg. With his black garb and greasy black hair, Pegg guides this sociopathic character into some truly hilarious situations. I have heard grumblings that people hated Pegg in this role, but I think he was awesome and carried the film almost single handedly at times. He is fast talking and charming in an immature type of way. His friends are played by Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan. These four all add something to the film but are mostly supporting Pegg as he goes off on one of his many epic tirades.
As the film progresses and the 5 friends bounce from pub to pub, something curious starts to happen. The townsfolk’s stares seem to linger a little too long. The townsfolk conversations seem to be just a little too quiet. And the townsfolk seem to pay a little too much attention to what the 5 friends are doing. What should be a night of crazy drinking becomes one of survival instead. You see, the townsfolk are not what they seem and are not going to let the friends leave. For the second half of the film, the 5 friends must brawl their way from pub to pub. They kick and punch, and they run and they drink. They kick and punch, and they run and they drink. They kick and punch, and they run and they drink. They kick and punch, and they run and they drink. It gets so repetitive that it is hard to sit through. The fight scenes are actually pretty great and comical in this, but they rely on it too much for the laughs. As the film comes to an end, it is clear that the writers (Pegg and Wright) had no way to finish it and just said frak it. So not only is the ending intolerable, it is also stupidly unfunny. In conclusion, this film is much like a crazy drinking binge. You are energetic and happy at the beginning. In the middle you are laughing, giddy, and wondering where you will end up next. And the ending is a jumble of half remembered images and regrets that you should have quit while you were on top. This is an entertaining and yet disappointing way to end the Cornetto trilogy. Will the 5 guys survive and save the world from an otherworldly menace? Watch and find out.
Director Edgar Wright knows his audience. Therefore, I really cannot critique him for this movie. His fans will ultimately love this movie as he uses lots of references from his other films (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) He also gets top marks for the fight scenes as they are very well done. They are high impact as well as humorous, which is hard to do. Ultimately, I would have liked a more consistent and original finished product from him though.
I cannot give this movie a recommendation. Although The Worlds End is the final destination for this franchise, my heart will always remain in the Winchester!
T Factor + If you like the comedic duo of Frost and Pegg then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you are looking for the earlier comedic magic that is captured in Shaun of the Dead then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Watch, This is the End.