Wright. Pegg. Frost. The three musketeers of all things geek, coming back for one final battle to conclude their hugely successful 'cornetto' trilogy. It started off with 'Shaun of the Dead', before moving onto 'Hot Fuzz' before ending with the suitably titled 'The World's End'.
'The World's End' follows a group of men, reluctantly led by perpetual adolescent Gary King (Simon Pegg), on a pub crawl in their old town of Newton-Haven, futilely trying to replicate a night that occurred twenty years prior. As the night drags on, the men realise that something is not quite right about their old town. Is it the pubs that have been bought up by chains and stripped of all their charm? (Perhaps.) Or is it the fact that the residents of the town have been replaced by robot like replicas? (More likely.)
Simon Pegg did an impressive job on this movie. Gary King is a deceivingly complex character. In some respects, his motives are pure (all he wants to do is go back to how things were when he was happiest) but he goes about things in the completely wrong way. Lying about his mother's death, deceiving his friends into going back to Newton-Haven and endangering them all with his need to do the pub crawl in it's entirety. Up until Gary and Andy's touching heart-to-heart in the World's End, he is a very difficult character to sympathise with, and therefore needed to be portrayed in the correct manner to prevent audience's from clawing their eyes out. I believe that Pegg managed to do this with a compelling sense of desperation that few actors could pull off. Nick Frost provided the other stand out performance in this film as Gary's best friend Andy. A life-threatening accident that almost cost Andy his life changed him from a fun-loving Gary devotee to a cautious, non-drinking office worker. Pegg and Frost's chemistry may not have been as strong as in previous films, but it's hard not to feel moved at the pair's scene in the World's End.
Of course, a film is only as good as it's script, so thankfully, 'The World's End' provides the goods with a hilarious, and at times touching, commentary on the dangers of nostalgia and conformity in the modern world. You can definitely draw parallels from 'Shaun of the Dead' (and not just because of the poorly constructed garden fence gag).
Director Edgar Wright has quickly become one of my favourites. This may sound odd, but if you'd like a masterclass on using transitions, then this guy is seriously the man to go to. He has definitely perfect his skill over the past few years, and I'm looking forward to seeing what more great work will come from Wright in the years to come.
For me, I think that the film's only downfall is that it is part of the cornetto trilogy. Each film is tied together very loosely plot and genre wise, with the trio, poorly constructed garden fences and ice-cream cones being some of the few things that tie them together. That being said, audience's are constantly comparing 'The World's End' to 'Shaun of the Dead' and 'Hot Fuzz', and that isn't really fair. As a stand alone film, I think far fewer people would have come out of the cinema complaining, but considering the high standard that the previous two films have set, it goes without saying that expectations for 'The World's End' were ridiculously high.
If you enjoy your comedies, then I definitely recommend that you go to see this film.