Tuesday, August 20, 2013

REVIEW: The World's End

The World's End

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost


August 23, 2013

Edgar Wright

Focus Features

1 hour 49 minutes



What started out as nothing more than a joke made in an interview became something that has given fanboys a reason to be excited once again.  Sure they had the big superhero and fantasy films to look forward to, but nothing could compare to the "Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy."  The third, and possibly last, film in this unorthodox series of movies is entitled "The World's End."  After fighting zombies and insane murderers, the team of director/co-writer Edgar Wright, co-writer/star Simon Pegg, and star Nick Frost's next threat is alien robots of all things.  Having said that, the film's story itself is a metaphor for living in the world of nostalgia and hometowns always being different upon returning to them as adults.  "The World's End" is funny as hell, sharply written by Wright and Pegg, and very touching, though also pretty polarizing when the final 20 minutes of the film begin.  Nevertheless, it is a very satisfying conclusion to "The Cornetto Trilogy" and will leave eager fans happy and with a sweet taste in their mouths and minds.

On June 22, 1990, five friends who just graduated high school attempt to complete a pub crawl in their hometown of Newton Haven known as "The Golden Mile."  Each friend attempts to drink 12 pints from 12 pubs starting from The First Post and ending at The World's End.  Unfortunately, they don't finish the crawl, and the men move on with their lives.  That is, except for group leader Gary King.  King is living in the past and wants to regain some nostalgia by bringing the old gang back together once again.  However when the five gentlemen return to Newton Haven, things aren't as they seem.  Sure enough, the entire town has become alien robots who want to conquer planet Earth.  The only thing that could possibly help them get out of the town alive is finishing the pub crawl and getting to The World's End.

As with "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz" before, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg have written a dynamically hilarious and smart script.  Every single joke, including the subtle ones, hit the audience with full force and produce strong belly laughs consistently.  Unlike the first two films, however, "The World's End" is far more touching and emotionally moving than one would expect with a movie about friends on a bar crawl trying to fight off robot aliens.  There are lots of messages involving friendship and living in the past that are really engaging, and to me further enhance the film.  The one thing that may split people who see this movie is the final 20 minutes.  Without spoiling anything, all I'll say is that it's a very different ending than "Shaun" and "Hot Fuzz," but me personally I loved that about it.  Overall, Wright and Pegg's script was sharp, hilarious, and very touching at times.

Simon Pegg gives possibly his best performance to date as Gary King.  King, unlike Shaun from "Shaun of the Dead" and Nicholas Angel from "Hot Fuzz," is somewhat of a despicable character, yet you love him as much, possibly even more, in this film than in any other film he's been in.  Also performing a baton-switch type of role is Nick Frost as Gary's once right hand man, Andy Knightley.  Frost's Andy is pretty much the straight man in the film, that is until the final half hour.  As someone who usually plays the lovable idiot in films, Frost is fantastic getting out of his comfort zone and doing something entirely different for him.

Talking about everyone else in the film would just be constantly repeating myself, so I will say one thing that pertains to every single person in the film: everyone is awesome and hilarious in their own way in the movie, especially the six leads.  I give strong props to Pegg and Frost for playing characters that are polar opposites to their characters in the previous Cornetto films.  Actors in general though need a strong director who can get the best performances out of them.  Luckily for the actors, they had exactly that with Edgar Wright.

Ever since I saw "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" back in 2010, I was instantly in love with Edgar Wright.  There's a lot to love about his eye for making movies, particularly his fast style of editing as featured in all of his previous films.  Wright has never been better here, and you can tell that there was nothing but passion put into this movie.  As someone who wants to be a filmmaker when I grow up, Wright's vision shows that creativity and originality can not only prove that there are still unique and fresh filmmakers out there, but he also inspires people like me to write more original stories like this.

"The World's End" is something of a revelation compared to many summer flicks that have come out in recent memory.  Almost every single joke hits you like a bullet to the chest, and from your chest spews out huge belly-laughs that carry on into the next joke.  Every actor in the film, particularly Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, are hilarious and just great all around.  Edgar Wright's direction is pitch perfect and further proves how fantastic of a director he is.  To top it all off, Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's script is not only hilarious and original, but also surprisingly touching.  People might have some issues with the final 20 minutes because of how different it is compared to the other Cornetto movies, but let me just say that I believe it ended the trilogy very well.  "The World's End" is hilarious, touching, original, and one of the summer's best movies.  In the month of August where so many bad movies usually come out, it's nice to end it off with the potentially final film in The Cornetto Trilogy.

Me with "The World's End" director/co-writer Edgar Wright and star Nick Frost after a special roundtable interview for the film on July 31, 2013!!

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