World's End, The (2013)

Director:  Edgar Wright
Cast:  Simon PeggNick FrostMartin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan
Plot:  Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind's only hope for survival.

Genre:  Action / Comedy / Sci-Fi
Awards:  -
Runtime:  109min
Rating:  NC16 for pervasive language including sexual references.

“We're going to see this through to the bitter end.  Or... lager end.”

Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost first hit the big time with their breakthrough feature Shaun of the Dead (2004), regarded as the first of the Cornetto trilogy that includes Hot Fuzz (2007) and now The World’s End.  It’s a wacky reference to the flavour of the Cornetto ice-cream that appears in the three films.  It is interesting and you can read more on Wikipedia. 

The World’s End has been quite anticipated by fans of the trio, whose brand of witty (and sometimes not so witty) brand of British jokes forms the bulk of the humour quotient in their films.  But really, their humour is a means to an end, and the end is nigh.

The title of the movie refers to a pub – the twelfth and last pub in an insane pub crawl organized by a lunatic guy called Gary King (played by Pegg), who reunites with his buddies from high school to execute the crawl again, but this time really completing it, and making their way to The World’s End. 

The premise ensures a lot of laughs, and writer-director Wright delivers in many counts, though they may not be as satisfying or hilarious as expected.  But of course, expect Wright to twist his narrative in the fashion of parody, for this is a low-brow comedy with an explosion of something more.  And it does so in the film’s most side-splitting sequence – an attack in the washroom on King and his buddies by humans of the Other kind.

It is interesting to see how the film develops, though it is not necessarily intriguing.  But Wright and his actors never fail to hold our attention as he merges ideas from science-fiction and body invasion movies, both from a visual and intellectual standpoint.  The end result can feel mixed, but it is still a positive mix, though I have reservations about how the narrative turns out after the climax. 

It is ultimately an irrational, preposterous and absurd film, and those are words that would aptly describe Wright’s attraction as a filmmaker.  In The World’s End, Wright has made a fun and silly movie.  It is not mind-blowing, nor is it particularly unforgettable, but even though the film has its flaws, somehow Wright pulls off a (moderately) successful rabbit in the hat.

Verdict:  A meta-comedy that is conscious about its fun-ness, though not all of the gags hit the sweet spot in this final installment of Edgar Wright's 'Cornetto' trilogy.


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