the worlds endUniversal Pictures
2013
R

“I still think nothing that has been suggested in the last 10 minutes beats ‘smashy smashy egg men’.”

20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hell bent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by mate Gary King who drags his reluctant pals to their home town and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind’s. Reaching The World’s End is the least of their worries.

It’s interesting to note that the whole “Three Flavors Cornetto” movie trilogy concept started as a joke while promoting Shaun Of The Dead. Director Edgar Wright quipped that SotD was the first in the “Three Flavors Cornetto” series (a Cornetto being the ice cream snack brand that Nick Frost’s character craved in the movie, kind of like a Drumstick cone here in the States), and it kind of became a reality. The three movie “flavors” being Horror (Shaun Of The Dead), Action (Hot Fuzz), and finally Science Fiction, which is the focus of this review (obviously). And now I kind of crave an ice creme. Drat.

The World’s End tells the story of a bloke who decides to gather up his high school mates to finally finish the entirety of a pub crawl they didn’t manage to finish back when they graduated high school for…reasons. It takes some convincing, but they all take a holiday and head out to their hometown of Newton Haven for a fun time. In theory, anyway. Things don’t go exactly as planned, however, when they start noticing that the pubs they remember have changed. Sure, there’s the fact that it’s been 20-some-odd years, and the axiom “You can’t go home again” rings true; but things are a bit more odd–like all the pubs looking the same. Or hardly anybody remembering who this band of prodigals are. Or the fact that many of the citizenry seem to be robots. And no, I didn’t just spoil the entire thing for you.

Once again, Edgar Wright has crafted a richly nuanced genre picture that’s a bit more than the sum of its parts. Really, The World’s End is more of a smartly written character drama with a science fiction twist and generous dollop of dry British humor. All of the actors do fantastic jobs, bringing palpable depth to their characters, especially Simon Peg and Nick Frost, but that’s to be expected by now. The script was well-written, delivering some great dialogue and manages to take the hodgepodge of genre elements and making a delicious whole concoction.

Overall, The World’s End was a fantastic watching experience, hitting all the right buttons, making the time fly by. As far as I’m concerned, this is a fine capper to this unofficial trilogy, but if Edgar Wright wishes to continue making movies like this, I won’t be complaining. Taken as a stand-alone movie, The World’s End comes highly recommended, not just for genre heads. By itself or taken with the other two movies, you shall enjoy yourself immensely.

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