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Over the years we have enjoyed the comedy, drama, parody and the blood splatter that Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz had to offer. But all things have to come to an end and Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s Cornetto Trilogy conclusion comes in form of the very entertaining and wonderdul The World’s End.
Over twenty years ago five friends, Gary King (Pegg), Andy (Nick Frost), Steve (Paddy Considine), Ollie (Martin Freeman) and Peter (Eddie Marsan) attempted to complete the Golden Mile, a pub crawl of twelve pubs in the town of Newton Haven on their last day of school. Despite being unable to complete the pub crawl it was the best night of Gary’s life and he has been living in the past ever since. Gary attempts to recreate the night and complete the pub crawl, despite the rest of the group having jobs and families. The pub crawl is complicated by Andy being a non-drinker and hostile towards Gary, Steve trying to win over his school crush, Sam (Rosamund Pike), Ollie’s sister and the town’s residents being replaced by robot copies in a very Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Stepford Wives and They Live fashion. But Gary is not going to let these little nuisances get in the way of his drinking.
The World’s End will easily satisfy fans of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, as the movie rounds up the entire trilogy. The World’s End is constantly funny throughout its running time, with many types of humor on display; we get witty lines and jokes, character interaction and dialogue, visual gags and physical humor during the action sequences. It has everything you would want and expect from a comedy and from this team.
Pegg and Frost have a role reversal to their previous two movies in the trilogy: Frost is now the straight man who has a dead-pan style and he is playing a successful corporate lawyer whilst Pegg is basically a man who has not grown beyond 18 and wants to recapture his youth, including keeping his car (the Beast), playing a mix tape Steve made him and keeps trying to score with Sam. He is especially the popular kid at school who did not adjust to the adult world. He is a character who’ll manipulate and black mail people, but there is also a sadness to him and Pegg portrays him to what he really is, a loser.
All the characters are well defined, with distinctive personalities and characters. We get to know all five of the group really well and they have a great rapport with each other. Wright and Pegg realize they are getting older and they play on the idea with the character being middle aged as they are ageing and moving on with their lives. But they all still have some sort of demon in their past, from Steve’s divorce, Andy’s refusal to drink and Pete being bullied at school.
Like Wright’s previous movies The World’s End is a fast paced and shows his amazing abilities with comedic timing and action. He continues to bring his kinetic energy and he brings very fast and fluid actions sequences. Wright works really well with cinematographer Bill Pope, his Scott Pilgrim vs. the World cinematographer but he is best known for his work on The Matrix Trilogy and Spider-man 2 and 3. Pope’s visuals are evident with his high angles and camera movements during the fight sequences.
As well as being well choreographed fight sequences, they all have plenty of comic visuals during them. All of them are highly entertaining, particularly the third major fight where during the mayhem and fighting Gary try to consider his precious pint. But due to the characters fighting robots, the level of violence is toned down and it is substituted with more swearing: the ‘C’ word was used twice.
The scale for The World’s End is much bigger then Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, despite the small town setting. There is much more use special effects and CGI, particularly in the final third and the movie has a budget of £20 Million (around $30 Million) and that is a massive budget for a British production.
Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were both very different to each other, but The World’s End does share similarities to Shaun of the Dead, from the large number of enemies, the use of pubs and the strange air in the town. The World’s End still have a very British favor with it setting, jokes and even commentary about chain pubs taking over independent watering holes.
The World’s End is a very funny, action packed and entertaining movie. It is a fine conclusion to the Cornetto Trilogy, even if it does not quite match the heights of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz as its parody is not as cutting. But it is still a very distinctively British comedy that will please the majority of audiences.