The World’s End: a Fan’s Review

The-Worlds-End-poster

I saw this film with my husband and friends on opening weekend a few weeks prior. It got really good reviews (90% on the Tomatometer and 7.7/10 at IMDB) and we were all fans of the cast and crew. We were pretty excited to catch the last instalment of the “Cornetto trilogy“. We got there early, were the first ones in and snagged the best seats in the house. I haven’t done that in a long time. It is just as well, because the theatre was soon packed with other fans.

This film did not disappoint. The World’s End is a comedic-apocalyptic-sci-fi mash up that begins with a group of middle aged men who had been great chums during high school. The first part of the film deals with their relationships, past and present. At the behest of the alcoholic, self appointed leader, aptly named Gary King (Simon Pegg) they reunite after various degrees of estrangement. Gary wants to conquer an epic home town quest that they abandoned 20 years prior. The “Golden Mile” is a 12 stop pub crawl route that concluded at the titular haunt, The World’s End pub. Gary is obsessed with succeeding this time. Why that is so remains a matter of debate. The other fellows seem to have long since forgotten about a night of excessive drinking that Gary considered his zenith. Poor Gary seems stuck in adolescence, whereas the other 4 (Martin Freeman, Nick Frost Paddy Consadine and Eddie Marsan) have settled down to 9-5 jobs, mortgages and families. As they embark on their quest, they realize that something is amiss; everything has changed in the town of Newton Haven. Hardly anyone remembers their legendary exploits. Logic dictates that the townsfolk have been body snatched. As they come to that abrupt conclusion, the movie shifts gears into action. The fate of the world seems to lie in their hands. Will they reach The World’s End pub before they reach the end of the world as they know it?

Fun action sequences and well choreographed fights are juxtaposed with a killer soundtrack and social commentary on such things as nostalgia, aging, arrested development, conformity, substance abuse, selective memory, bullying and suicide. There are laughs to be had along the way, more so with the self referential winks to those familiar with the previous instalments of the “Cornetto trilogy”. Is this latest film the best of these three independent stories? No, not to me. I rather favour Hot Fuzz but it is a fresher memory, so perhaps it is time to revisit Shaun of the Dead.

Shaun of the Dead

Hot Fuzz

The ending had me guessing at what was real and what was in the minds of the characters long after I left the theatre. We all enjoyed it and I for one am looking forward to watching it again on DVD.

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