The World's End

© 2013 Ray Wong

Like Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz, The World's End has similar set up that makes fun of the Brits and horror/sci-fi genres. And like those films, the filmmakers are having a great time trying to give the audience a great time.

Gary (Simon Pegg) is a recovering alcoholic and his big idea is to gather four of his best friends from their young days, head back to their hometown and finish the bar crawl they started 20 years ago but didn't finish. The chums, all respectable "adults" now, agree for old time's sake, but Gary is on a mission. He's determined the hit the last bar, The World's End, of the golden mile.

When they get there, everything seems normal except nobody in town recognize them. Also, the guys are concerned about Gary, who seems to be stuck in the past and can't move on. When an old flame Sam (Rosamund Pike) shows up, things get even more heated between the boys as Steven (Paddy Considine) is also in love with Sam.

As the evening progresses, things take a strange turn that results in a "out of this world" brawl in the bathroom of one of the pubs. The five friends discover a dark secret about their hometown, and they need to pull themselves together, escape and survive. However, Gary insists that they should stay and finish the bar crawl. Obviously, Gary has an ulterior motive, and he has no idea that the fate of mankind rests on his and his friends' hands.

Simon Pegg (Star Trek) and Nick Frost (Snow White and the Huntsman) are the premium British comedic duo. They could almost -- almost -- do no wrong when they join forces in a comedy. And there's a reason. Individually Pegg and Frost are both well trained comedic actors with perfect timing and delivery. Together, they are a dynamic, funny duo with chemistry to spare.

Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) is effectively droll as businessman and Sam's brother Oliver. Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum) is understated as the group's lovesick stud muffin. Eddie Marson (Jack the Giant Slayer) is wonderfully timid and agreeable as Peter.  Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher) is beautiful as Sam, but she is also resourceful when the situation calls for it.  Pierce Brosnan (The Ghost Writer) has a small but pivotal role.

Written by Pegg and director Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), the screenplay actually follows a pretty typical set up with ultra fast-paced dialogue, plot movement, and snappy scenes that are decidedly British. It has elements of Shaun of the Dead, especially where the end of the world scenarios are concerned. But the tone and actions reminded me more of Hot Fuzz, as doe the broad, crude humor. There are a few dull spots in the beginning and the movie leads us down a mundane path. At times it gets a bit irritating as Gary continues to act like an idiot and the boys indulge him. But once the twist comes and the story takes off unexpectedly, the plot clips along, hilarity abound.

Wright's direction is spot on. Again, the movie reminds me of Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, also directed by Wright. In a way, The World's End feels like the third film of a trilogy, even though the three movies do not share a common plot or character thread.

While The World's End is not perfect, it is a roaring good time to be had for anyone who enjoys silly, broad British comedies and parodies of the sci-fi horror genre. See it before the world ends.

Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike, Pierce Brosnan
Director: Edgar Wright
Writers: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright
Distributor: Universal
MPAA Rating:  R for pervasive language, sexual references
Running Time: 109 minutes


Script - 7
Performance - 8
Direction - 7
Cinematography - 7
Music/Sound - 7
Editing - 8
Production - 7

Total - 7.5 out of 10.0 

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