The trio of director Edgar Wright and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have produced several cult classic comedies over the years. Firstly, there was Shaun of the Dead, a film about a man who struggles with growing up and leaving behind his stoner best friend. Also, there are zombies. Then there was Hot Fuzz, a film about a man who is completely obsessed with his career. Also, there is a killing spree. Now, finally, they are putting out the final film in what is unofficially known as the “Cornetto Trilogy” — The World’s End.
This time around, Simon Pegg is playing the lively Gary King, a happy-go-lucky drunk who is stuck living in the past age of his youth as he gathers his old friends together for a final attempt at The Golden Mile, a twelve-stop pub crawl in his old hometown which he describes as the height of his life. Of course, although it’s endearingly funny from the start, it really picks up when the movie draws out its wild card — an Invasion of the Body Snatchers-esque science fiction theme, in which they discover that everyone in their childhood town has been replaced by robots.
The first thing noticeable about this movie is its distinctly British atmosphere. Everything has the air of a bunch of mates going out to the pub, and even the dirty bits don’t go over the top like any big-name American studio would have them. But right now you might be thinking: “Of course you would say that, Stewart! After all, you are from British descent! I’m American! I like big, hardy American comedies!”
Well, while that may be true, I honestly don’t feel that biased towards really British comedy either. There’s a lot of dry wit out there which I just can’t get into. It’s just too far down the spectrum. For instance, the Monty Python films featured brilliant, intelligent humor without going too far outside the range of slapstick. And The Hangover was a hilarious comedy which, although touching subjects in an outright ridiculous manner, held on to that spark of clever wit which made it a great film in its own right.
But what’s unique about the Cornetto Trilogy is that it falls right in the middle. It appeals to both sides evenly, with as much sophistication and as many one liners as outlandish situational humor. It can entertain everyone to an extent, and can really cover a number of comic bases. I’m not saying that it’s the best series in the world, but it’s definitely a direction which leads to really enjoyable films for both outgoing and reserved demographics.
The acting itself in The World’s End is still great, although unlike in their previous films, Frost is more of a straight man and Pegg plays comic relief. This swapping of roles is surprisingly well tuned, and Frost retains his quirky elements as Pegg retains his sincere relate-ability.
The main things which this movie might have against it is that its timing lingers a little bit in some places and it takes itself too seriously in some comedic situations. But honestly, if you can just sit back and embrace it as a rambunctious, laugh-out-loud comedy about a bunch of drunken mates in increasingly unbelievable situations, it’s a heck of a ride.
Age Recommendation: Erm… It’s an R rated film, but since I often don’t agree with those I’ll just tackle the prominent issues. It’s violent, but it’s pretty much just against robots, and while they bleed it comes across as more bursting out filling than leaking out life. Sex is referenced, but not shown. Characters swear frequently, in that loose, British way. And, of course, the entire movie is about drinking. And so, with all this, I would put this film as 13/14+. Why? Because I think kids that age can take it. Honestly, I don’t think that it puts any worse people into the world by letting young people who are mature enough enjoy some more adult films.
Final Verdict: A really fun, really enjoyable comedy. It would have worked without the Sci-Fi stuff, but it came out equally brilliant. 9/10