Sunday, July 28, 2013

The World's End Review


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

The third and final film in Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy has arrived. Twenty years after a fateful night on which five friends decided to take on a small town pub crawl, they are reunited again to top their last attempt whilst unknowingly becoming mankind's last hope for survival before reaching The World's End.

Firstly, as cliché as it sounds, the World's End definitely strikes me as the darkest of the trilogy. Whilst retaining the usual quirky humour and witty script that will no doubt be juiced and quoted for years to come, the film also hits some emotional notes that just weren't as prevalent in Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead, in some ways making it the more mature of the three, fittingly enough. Just as 'The Golden Mile' is Gary's (Simon Pegg) form of closure, The World's End marks the end of a much loved collaborative partnership between Pegg, Frost and Wright. It'll certainly be interesting to see whats next for Wright, as having proved he can nail comedy it would definitely be interesting to see him tackle something a little different.

In terms of performance, Pegg steals the show without a doubt as Gary. Given all the best lines he brings an undoubtable energy to the film's primary anti-hero. There's something both extremely tragic and laughable about Pegg's character that makes for some questionable and ambiguous moments of sensitivity that didn't feel wholly out of place, as they make for a more rounded, interesting character. Meanwhile, the film's ending may be a little hard to swallow, taking a dramatic turn for the bizarre. It did initially feel a little mismatched in comparison to the rest of the film, though nonetheless it was a fun if odd way to end what initially felt like more of an isolated story. The style and general scope of it perhaps reflective of the bigger things Wright will go on to do. 

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The World's End is ultimately a film about friendship, nostalgia and getting sloshed. But on a more serious note, it speaks quite sincerely about the inevitable process of growing up and letting go, of change and the ways in which we are forced to adapt. Still, I think its better not to read too much into it, as pulling it apart too much will just lessen the enjoyment of a plot that doesn't really set out to say too much.

 As expected, the film's reflexive style makes for some clever references to running jokes in the trilogy, and there are lots of fun Easter eggs for the observant viewer. As for me, I think World's End has managed to steal it's way into second place, with my all time favourite of the three still being Shaun of the Dead. Its fun to see the way the style of these films has evolved, though no matter how much bigger the budget gets, the pub remains the quintessential cornerstone of small town Britain that each film raises its glass to. So I suppose it goes without saying that this is a must see for fans of the previous two films, if only to say a bitter farewell to Britain's beloved Blood and Ice Cream trilogy.