24th Nov2013

‘The World’s End’ Blu-ray Review

by Paul Metcalf

Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Rosamund Pike, Eddie Marsan | Written by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg | Directed by Edgar Wright


When Gary King (Simon Pegg) decides it’s time to finish the Golden Mile, a pub crawl he gathers his old friends from his home town together to relive the old days and more importantly drink.  Times have changed though and bridges have been burnt so there is a lot of mending to be done.  As they move from pub to pub old animosities resurface and people get drunker, but why is it that people don’t seem to remember them and why are all the pubs almost exactly the same? It’s not long before the friends realise something very strange is going on in their home town.

It’s hard to know how much to say about The World’s End without spoiling any of the surprises, but to mention what has already been seen in the trailer does seem fair.  Where Shaun of the Dead was a homage to horror and Hot Fuzz an homage to crime action movies, The World’s End is a love letter to science fiction movies.  Pegg plays Gary King as the loser who drags his friends back to a night where he feels everything was perfect.  In typical style for Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s writing the look back to the past is the set up for what is to come, each moment of the original pub crawl is recreated but with the twist of killer robots (or as they become known Blanks) though as it’s pointed out continually the robots are not robots, though they kind of are.

Looking at the friends as well as Pegg’s character we have Andy played by Nick Frost, and it’s interesting the role he plays in this one.  Moving away from the fool that we saw in the other parts of the trilogy if anything now he players the smarter one, who tends to stay away from the actual drinking.  Paddy Considine plays Steve who seems to play the “cool” friends of the bunch, but who has a crush on Oliver’s sister who Gary stole from him, this complicates things when Sam (the sister played by Rosamund Pike) actually turns up.  Oliver is played by Martin Freeman and plays the typical Freeman role, and then we have Peter, played by Eddie Marsan, the bullied kid who stuck with the group and too great enjoyment in the hi-jinks they took part in.  Part of the beauty of the film is that while the story progresses and things go crazier the character traits become more extreme, and of course Nick Frost’s character lightens up a little.

What is impressive about The World’s End is that we see just how much Edgar Wright has progressed since Shaun of the Dead, and of course what he can do with a bigger budget.  Fight scenes are high impact and fun, the action is kept to a high level, and especially when things become more chaotic but more importantly the story is still the most important thing, even with all the chaos reigning around the characters.  The key is that the film is created around the story, not just creating an action film that uses the basic structure of a plot for the sake of showing action.  What we see on the screen is a well thought out plot that while it may not always work is concentrated on, which is the most important thing.

With The World’s End the most interesting thing is the themes that are used.  Even with all the cameos and surprises that have been hidden in the film there is a surprisingly touching conclusion to the film with the revelation of exactly why Gary feels that he has to do the pub crawl and of course the actual truth behind what is going on in the town itself.  It’s typical that the most emotional scenes come from Pegg and Frost, who seem to work together so easily and so well now that they are almost like old friends of the audience.

The World’s End is a risky move in the so called “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” because it’s the most outlandish of the three films (yes even when compared to Shaun of the Dead) and tends to go for some extremes.  If some fans of the other two films were to say they didn’t like this one I’d not be too shocked by that, and personally I do think it is the weakest of the three though it IS a very good film.  What I found was The World’s End is a film that has a deeper message than Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz and takes the theme of friendship even more seriously.  That may work for some, but not for others and that is a risk that has to be taken sometimes.  Was this risk worth it for The World’s End? I’d argue most definitely.

The World’s End is released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 25th.

Review originally posted on PissedOffGeek.com

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