The World's End review

Banana Rating: 4 out of 5

At last, The Three Fla­vours Cor­netto Tri­logy, as it’s become known, arrives at it’s con­clu­sion. The first, Shaun of the Dead, was the zom­bie one. The second, Hot Fuzz, was the action movie one. And now we have The World’s End, the science-fiction alien inva­sion one.

It’s been a while com­ing, mainly because of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s accel­er­at­ing star­dom. Espe­cially so in the case of Simon Pegg, who’s been pop­ping up in all sorts from Star Trek to Mis­sion Impossible. Also get­ting in the way, was what felt like an unof­fi­cial end to the tri­logy, Paul, star­ring the voice of Seth Rogen as a foul mouthed alien. But that was obvi­ously more Amer­ic­an­ized than Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Both of those films retained some­thing quint­es­sen­tially Brit­ish, des­pite being influ­enced by Hollywood.

So it’s fit­ting that The World’s End is based around that most Brit­ish of pas­times, the legendary pub crawl, down­ing a pint or two in one pub before quickly mov­ing onto the next. Simon Pegg plays Gary King, a 40 year old who’s never grown up, and des­per­ate to relive a pub crawl of his youth that was the best night of his life. It sticks in his craw that him and his friends never fin­ished the 12 pub piss­a­thon, never mak­ing it to the final pub, The World’s End. Unfor­tu­nately, his friends are now all grown up, and moved on with fam­il­ies and work com­mit­ments, and are some­what reluct­ant to join him. How­ever, join him they do, but the old magic proves hard to find, espe­cially for Andy Knightly played by Nick Frost.

Twenty something slacker vibe

It’s been six years since Hot Fuzz, and nine years since Shaun of the Dead. Back then, Pegg and Frost were on fire, with both those films feel­ing kind of effort­less. Action movies and zom­bie films were par­od­ied with obvi­ous affec­tion. By con­trast, it some­times feels like The World’s End is not pok­ing fun at science-fiction because of the films Pegg and Frost loved when they were younger. Rather, it feels like they’re doing it just because of they’ve already done zom­bies and action movies, and they’ve nowhere else to go.

And while The World’s End might lack the fresher, younger vibe of the pre­vi­ous two films, we have to remem­ber that every­one involved is older now. And The World’s End plays on that. These are older char­ac­ters who have moved on from more imma­ture pur­suits. In a way, it’s prob­ably a reflec­tion of where Pegg and Frost are in their own lives, just as in Shaun of the Dead, where they tapped into a twenty some­thing slacker vibe.

The World’s End shares many of the trilogy’s ideas. They’re all pretty much about two guys work­ing through their dif­fer­ences, des­pite the many other peri­pheral char­ac­ters that sur­round them. But the film is prob­ably closest to Shaun of the Dead in spirit, and set­ting. When Gary King says, “Ever have one of those nights that starts out like any other, but ends up being the best night of your life?” you sense that Pegg is intent on recap­tur­ing not just the highs of those nights, but the highs of his earlier movie career. Com­edy, like rock ‘n’ roll, is often a young man’s game.

It might sound like I’m say­ing The World’s End isn’t funny. Well, it prob­ably isn’t as funny as the previous two in the trilogy. But it’s still damn hil­ari­ous.