Three of Edgar Wright's films are in the shortlist for favourite films of all time. I've re-watched Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and Scott Pilgrim more times than I can count. I love these movies. So, I was UNBEARABLY excited for The World's End, the final piece of the Cornetto Trilogy.
The film had a lot to live up to and because of that, I'm unsure if it still does. I actually had to watch it a second time to really see if it had the instant repeat viewing nature that Shaun and Hot Fuzz did, until I realize, it took me a while for both of those films to really become the favourites of mine that they are today. So, long story short, is World's End a good movie.
YES. It's a brilliant one. I feel with every installment of this "trilogy" the ante is upped. The production values and scale of this film is a lot bigger, and it seems to weave elements from all of Edgar Wright's past gems. The horror element of Shaun, the small town of Hot Fuzz and the brilliant madcap action of Scott Pilgrim. And, the theme that seems to weave the Cornetto Trilogy all together is the pub. That venerable British institution is in all of the films, but beer and pub life is no more celebrated than it is here.
World's End is a little cruder, but whip smart, full of sharp dialog and some fantastic gags. It's also as thoroughly British as they come. The comedy is all about the characters and the conversations they have, with jokes firing a minute. I compare it to an American comedic take on the apocalypse, This is the End, which was also a great time, but noticeable in its use of over the top characters and R rated humour. Wright's style has always been about ridiculous scenarios, great dialog and camaraderie between the main characters. So yes, this movie had me laughing. Hard.
The action was also really well done, and so fast paced, yet easy to follow. Wright has an eye for action as well as for comedy, which is remarkable. Some of the fight scenes are so brilliantly choreographed and executed, it feels like a million things are happening but you still get what's going on.
The performances are great, yet the Nick Frost-Simon Pegg duo, again, steal the show. It was awesome to see such British stalwarts like Martin Freeman and Rosamund Pike in this too. The comedic timing is perfect and everyone settles in well to the comedic tone of a Wright-Frost-Pegg collab. The movie is also somewhat dark and serious in its tones, which surprised me. But it was amazing how an actually serious story about living in the past and being unable to move on with the future, something that really does affect so many people, was such a well put together theme with a film that seemed just like a fun comedy on the surface.
Really, when you look at it, World's End is a sci fi film, a buddy comedy, an ode to British pubs, a story about nostalgia and the dangers of it, a commentary about technology and progress...all tied together in a neat little package. It's a great film and while repeat viewings will definitely seal it's legacy, right now, it's one of the best films of the year.