Movie Review: The World’s End
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike
Directed By: Edgar Wright
This is it. The finale to the “Cornetto Trilogy”, the series of films from director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Where the previous two installments, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, focused on relationships through the prisms of a zombie invasion and an action shoot ‘em up, The World’s End takes a look at nostalgia and focusing too much on the past while a robot invasion of Earth takes place.
Simon Pegg stars as Gary King, the alcoholic leader of his group of high school buddies. It’s been almost twenty years since King and his group attempted the “golden mile” pub-crawl at their hometown, which ends at The World’s End pub, and King is determined to complete it now. Assembling his group, which includes Nick Frost as Andy, Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins himself) as Oliver, and others, they embark on a quest to recapture their youth. That is, until they discover their hometown has secretly been invaded by robots.
Gary King is both Simon Pegg’s least likeable character and his most watchable. Pegg definitely play against his usual type in this film, and you can tell he really enjoys doing it. Watching him trick and bully his former friends into embarking on this pub crawl is a lot of fun to watch, mainly because you know it’s going to all come crashing down on him quickly.
Nick Frost’s performance, as the uptight Andy, is also a lot of fun as well. Much like Pegg, his character is very much against type, as Andy is a very successful corporate businessman who has given up drinking, much to the surprise (and anger) of Gary. His response to Andy drinking tap water at the first pub they visit was one of my favorite parts of the film. The other stand out in the group of friends is Martin Freeman’s Oliver, who’s constant muttering of “WTF?” had me rolling.
The direction by Edgar Wright is fast and kinetic, much like in his other films. The pacing is quick. At no point does The World’s End drag, and the explanation behind the robot invasion is not only hilarious, but extremely original as well. The final moments of the film are so good that I was hoping for an additional twenty minutes added to the run time. In fact, after watching The World’s End, I wanted to watch it all over again (or at least give Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz another watch).
The World’s End is a ton of fun, and the perfect end to the summer movie season. The theme of returning to your hometown is perfect, as everyone can relate to it. I know I have the same feelings Gary has every time I go back to visit my parents: everything is familiar, but oddly different. While I’m not sure where I would place it in terms of my favorite in the Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End is still well worth your time, even if you haven’t seen the other two films.
Final Verdict: 5 Cornetto Treats out of 5