The Cornetto Trilogy comes to a close with The World’s End.
And what an end is it.
No really, why wasn’t the end of this movie the entire movie?
Directed once again by Edgar Wright and staring several of his regulars like Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman and more. The movie takes on the Body Snatcher’s genre when a group of old friends are dragged along kicking and screaming to do an epic pub crawl that they failed at doing in their teens. They arrive in their old home town to find nothing has changed one lick. That’s because the entire place has been taken over by an unknown force that has made people into seemingly robots.
Simon Pegg’s Gary King is the asshole friend that has not changed since high school. He is living in the past and refuses to grow up. Essentially the a-typical man child that is a recovering junkie. He is the Nick Frost type of character from Shaun turned up to an eleven.
Nick Frost’s character of Andy doesn’t want to relive the past and has completely forgotten the pain in his life that was Gary. Throughout the course of the movie he stays on the wagon due to an high school accident until circumstances call for him to man up, drink up and be the leader since Gary is chasing the dragon.
There are several things going for this movie. The actors are given enough to work with.
Eddie Marsan’s Peter Page has a bit more to deal with due to the bully backstory while Paddy Considine’s Steven Prince has the unrequited love of Sam played by Rosamund Pike. Rosamund is a excellent addition to the crew of men. Rounding out the group is Martin Freeman playing her older brother, Oliver.
Edgar Wright could direct this thing in his sleep. There are Shaun of the Dead-type moments when the action settles and characters having heart tugging scenes which elevates the movie back up to where it should be. This also goes for any time someone is attacking or defending Gary King’s antics of debauchery during high school.
The movie stutters in a few places. The villains being completely revealed is not as bad as Gary. I don’t mind the robots or blanks since robot means slave and they aren’t slaves. They pulled off some nice fight sequences that I could actually follow for a change. Nice long establishing shots with good medium cuts. These are the type of fights I wanted in Elysium.
Unfortunately, the plot and the crew is on rails until the end of the movie due to Gary’s needs. Instead of doing the right thing like leaving town, the boys continue for no other reason than to please Gary. Their party of the five musketeers dwindles until they come face to face with Bill Nighy as the voice of the villains. Yes, I know, it’s a giant Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy reunion with Bill Nighy and Martin Freeman. Having said all that the geek references in this movie were lower than I expected.
The soundtrack to World’s End was okay not great. I mean the songs themselves not the background music. I think Hot Fuzz’s songs felt more in keep with the movie. I think focusing on bands from the boy’s era just didn’t do it for me.
The ole adage that the journey is half the fun is not true in The World’s End. The unlikable main character could have been killed off while his friends lived and it would have made for a better movie. In fact the group coming across a robot Gary would have made for a great scene to see Pegg going from sleaze to cleaned up gent.
I’m not going to ruin the epilogue but I’d pay money to see a sequel to this movie. The world building in the end was better than the journey itself. Only because it was something different than what we got for an hour and thirty minutes. I’m happy they went as far as they did. And, I’d rather have post-effed up invasion Gary than pre because he learned nothing until the end.
So, is it worth it? Matinee: yes. Paying full price: no.
I think Tor’s review named this Wright’s Return of the Jedi and I agree with that summation.
Out of the three movies my scale goes like this: Hot Fuzz and Shaun tied for first place and World’s comes in third. And unofficially second place is Scott Pilgrim/Paul even if neither movie is not part of it.