The World’s End – Review

The World’s End – Review

Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright unite and lo, comes great entertainment.  Really great.  The World’s End is the third instalment in the Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, zombie comedy horror franchise that has taken us in such gruesome style on a tour of some of the dullest places in the UK.  The World’s End gives an amorphous, satellite town a suitably apocalyptic, and hilarious, send-off and we are glad to see it go. A $3.4 million opening weekend suggests that many were looking forward to this one and $14 million total box office to date, most of that taken in the UK suggests that the word of mouth is favourable.

With the proviso that the premise is thin and the true ending of the film, (up on the hill, watching the world burn), is succeeded by an counter­ productive epilogue better left on the edit suite floor, The World’s End is a fantastic twisting turning hell of a thrilling ride. The five friends reunite to recreate an epic and unfinished pub crawl from twenty years earlier premise soon gives way to a hilarious mount-the‐team montage followed by a great car journey into town in the same old banger as twenty years before: the scene is set. The film is on some level an astute and fairly dark look at the ever-­‐increasing differential between old school chums as time goes by and fate, genetics, environment and effort all take their toll. What happened to that guy who was such a legend at school or uni?  Or the chubby sweet boy everyone took advantage of?  The answer’s here! Gary King, Pegg’s character is a fabulously edgy loser who thinks he’s a hero and can’t move on is played with pathos and something akin to brilliance by a haggard and emaciated Pegg. Nick Frost, Paddy Cosidine, Eddie Marsan and Martin Freeman all bring brilliance to their childish, resentful, boring to crashingly dull middle aged personas and make them sing.  Rosamund Pike is not allowed too much action but where she is allowed in, she flies. I particularly liked her driving…

The action is great fun. Teams of robo‐zombie‐youths with inky blue blood attack our gang in urinals and pubs, gradually aided by the entire town of middle England’s finest and indeed its incomprehensible civic art piece. The final showdown in the eponymous pub, The World’s End, the last on the list of pubs in the unremarkable town’s unremarkable pub tour, is hilariously succinct, putting paid to any attempt at deeper analysis ‐ all just a drunken night that will disappear with the hangover. My favourite scene takes place about halfway through, in which Gary King, dysfunctional human being with a one-track drinker’s mind, tries to finish his pint whilst an epic battle rages around him, destroying most of the infrastructure, furniture and glassware in the process. I laughed until my sides ached and that single‐mindedness made The World’s End a great watch, a great evening’s entertainment.

3

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