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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sean Kelly

My Thoughts on The World’s End

TheWorldsEnd

Director Edgar Wright reteams with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost for the final entry of their “Cornetto Trilogy,” which began with Shaun of the Dead in 2004 and continued with Hot Fuzz in 2007.  In The World’s End, Gary King (Pegg) is a man pushing middle age, who can’t escape the glory days of his youth.  One day, he decides to gather together his old high school friends and return to their hometown of Newton Haven and reattempt the “Golden Mile” pub crawl they attempted 20 years previously.  However, as they attempt to make it through 12 pubs in one night, ending at the titular World’s End, they slowly come to realize that the townsfolk have been replaced by alien robots, who want them to join their cause or face the consequences.

It is hard to believe that it has been nearly a decade since Shaun of the Dead hit the screens and introduced the world to Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost, all of whom were previously known in the UK for their TV series Spaced.  The concept of the “Cornetto Trilogy” started off as a bit of a joke, since both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz both had scenes of characters eating different flavours of Cornetto brand ice cream.  In fact, without spoiling too much, the Cornetto reference in The World’s End is not much more than a sight gag.

However, all three films have similar recurring gags (fences come to mind) and also have serious life lessons hidden within a genre plot.  In the case of The World’s End, the overarching theme involves learning the time to let go of the past and “grow up.”  Pegg’s manchild character of Gary King is heavily contrasted by Nick Frost’s character of Andy Knightly, who seems to have his life together.  This is a major switch in the dynamic Pegg and Frost had in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, both of which had Pegg as the straight man and Frost as the buffoon.

The overarching structure of The World’s End is somewhat similar to the 1978 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  In fact, the film has a cameo from a very familiar face, who is essentially playing the Leonard Nimoy role from that film.  While there are numerous humorous fight scenes in the film, resulting in a lot of blue goo being spilt, there was also a subtle creepiness of the townsfolk following the bar-hoppers, once they begin to suspect something is awry.

As the fellow pub crawlers, the film features decent performances by Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan, however the true breakthrough of the film is Paddy Considine, who essentially becomes the third lead throughout the course of the film.  This partially comes from a love triangle Considine’s character of Steven Prince with King, over the affections of Sam (Rosamund Pike), which results in some real emotional moments.

Overall, I can say that I enjoyed The World’s End.  I’ll probably still consider Shaun of Dead my favourite film of this informal trilogy, however I thought that this film was still a fine piece of fried gold.

8 | LIKED IT

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).