The World's End Reviews
A fantastic film to watch if you're in the mood for a comedy with a twist.
GREG: (Greg Smith, Founder of Agile Writers of Richmond, VA) Welcome to Matt Langdon, founder of the Hero Construction Company and organizer of The Hero Round Table Conference, to be held in Flint, Michigan. This is the first interdisciplinary conference on heroism ever held. Welcome, Matt!
SCOTT: Turns out that Greg and I have similar meshings! Who wants to begin recapping the movie?
GREG: We are introduced to Gary King (Simon Pegg), a guy who was cool when he was in high school in the 80 s. He s bestest buds with four other guys: Andy (Nick Frost), Steven (Paddy Considine), Peter (Eddie Marsan), and Oliver (Martin Freeman). They attempted the Golden Mile pub crawl as young men. It s an attempt to drink a beer at each of 12 taverns in their hometown of Newton Haven. But as kids they couldn t complete it. Now, Gary s facing 40 and wants to reclaim his former glory. He gathers his old friends together to attempt the Golden Mile one more time.
SCOTT: The guys begin their pub crawl but find it impossible to re-live the old magic of their high school days. Nothing is going right. People don t recognize them. Andy doesn t drink. Samantha (Rosamund Pike), his old flame, wants nothing to do with him. Then something completely unexpected jolts the old gang into a new and dangerous reality that serves as a catalyst for their hero journeys. Frustrated at how bad the pub crawl is going, Gary picks a fight with a young man in a pub restroom, and to his shock the young man s head is severed and blue ink spurts out. It turns out that Newton Haven is infested with robot aliens from outer space.
GREG: And not just aliens, but they are carbon copies of most of the occupants of Newton Haven. And so begins our journey into what is a gleeful homage to Invasion of the Body Snatchers and films of that ilk.
SCOTT: I was caught completely by surprise by the blue-inked aliens. The film was muddling along and I was trying to figure out if anything could happen that would salvage the story. And it did. The World s End turns out to be quite an entertaining jaunt. We haven t seen this much silliness since the film This is the End , which was another farcical interpretation of the human races demise. The World s End features clever, witty dialogue and some outstanding performances by a seasoned ensemble cast.
GREG: I agree, Scott. I was getting a bit antsy thinking this was going to be another Hangover 3 type movie. And I had seen the first two in the Cornetto Trilogy, so I was wondering when the big reveal would occur. For me it was a bit late in the film. But what came next more than made up for it. It was a race against time as Gary King continues to work his way from pub to pub despite being chased by characters from his past. And the interweaving of the love interest Sam was a clever wink to the side plots we often see in such horror films. I was pleasantly surprised.
SCOTT: I agree that we have a solid hero story here, but I m not sure how seriously we can take the hero journey in a film in which the hero seems more interested in drinking the next beer than in saving the world. If we treat this film as a goofball comedy, then it works just fine. All we have to do is sit back and enjoy how well the absurdity unfolds, thanks to strong screenplay writing, fine acting, and deft directing. This is a story of redemption for Gary. The appearance of the aliens is exactly what Gary needs to emerge as a hero, as he evolves from total loser to a man who is able to take the lead in resolving the conflict at the end. As the least successful member of the musketeers, he is primed for greater change in his life than any of his friends. We then witness the change, and as in any good hero story, it is satisfying.
GREG: I agree with Scott, this was a really tight script. There wasn t much that was just thrown in or wasted later. The jokes were quick and subtle as well as some that were just clubs over the head. Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright really have the knack for concise and hilarious writing without becoming slapstick. You may have to see the film a couple times to really get all the in jokes.
SCOTT: Good observations, Matt. And Greg, you re spot-on with your praise of Pegg and Frosts exceptional chemistry. I was delightfully surprised by The World s End. I don t recall ever experiencing such a dramatic shift in my assessment of a film in mid-stream. I was about to write it off as a soft, dull attempt by 5 people to re-create the past, a sort of lame version of The Big Chill. But then sparks began flying and I was a giggling mess in the theater. I truly enjoyed the bold outrageousness of The World s End and am happy to award it 4 Reels out of 5. The hero story was a bit less impressive to me; I give it 3 Heroes out of 5. Movie: Hero:
GREG: I m with you guys. A slow start and a rollicking finish. As we ve seen in other comedies, the Hero s Journey gets less attention in favor of gags and laughs. Still I enjoyed myself and I plan to see it again to catch some more of that slanted humor. I award 4 Reels for fun entertainment, but only 3 Heroes for a less solid hero treatment. Movie: Hero:
SCOTT: Matt, it was a great pleasure having you here. We appreciate your insights and we hope you can join us again in the future.
I'd rather re-watch Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz than watching this.
Don't take me wrong, this is still plenty of fun but having enjoyed the first two so thoroughly, this last one just doesn't quite pay the bill.
Taking on the sci-fi genre in this one...the story, rather appropriately for the end of an era, centres on the Titular "Worlds End" both in pub and apocalypse.
The film does start slow, and for some reason doesn't feel right at first.
On reflection this seemed to me to be because the Pegg and Frost pairing/friendship/camaraderie was not there at the start (due to their characters being at loggerheads for the early part of the film)
Things soon settle though, and we are back to the Wright/Pegg/Frost dynamic which we know and love.
Definitely a treat for fans of their work, whether it be the early Spaced series or the first (and best) step into film with 'Shaun of the Dead'. I still think they haven't topped Shaun, but love their work nonetheless and relish the opportunity to sit back and just laugh at the silliness.
There are some neat in-jokes (fence jumping of course), the pre-requisite Cornetto (nicely done, watch out for it) as well as a whole lot of cast favourites returning to join the fun. Watch out for a nice Bill Nighy cameo.
As film makers these guys are masters at making the ordinary into the epic.
With the help of some nice special effects (and a bigger budget) this is probably their biggest project to date, but at its core it is still a small buddy movie, about nothing much at all (a pub crawl) that turns into something so much more.
The gags range from the childish to the quite clever, but always remain sharp observational comedy.
Well done boys. Good to have ya back...lets go out with a Bang!