Cinematic Thoughts for Cinematic Minds
Director: Edgar Wright
Pegg, Frost and Wright team up again to bring us the last apocalyptic and booze-filled chapter in the ‘Three Flavours Cornetto’ trilogy ten years after the “rom-com-zom” ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and six after cop buddy action flick ‘Hot Fuzz’. We’ve had ‘Paul’ to tide us over a little bit since but that film isn’t actually a part of the trilogy, as a fair number of people believed it to be. I’m sure many will agree it’s been a hell of a wait – but has it been worth it?
Gary King (Pegg) is a disillusioned eccentric reluctantly attempting recovery from alcoholism. All he can think about though is the one night his life piqued after leaving school and the depressing feeling that he will never again be able to recapture that feeling.
In a last-ditch attempt, he runs around getting back into contact with all his old comrades from that very evening to get them to finish “The Golden Mile” – a truly epic pub crawl of biblical proportions through the prim little town of Newton Haven and one that hardcore ‘Cornetto’ fans are sure to challenge each other to a list-off to from first to last soon if they haven’t already. Where Gary is still stuck in 1990 wearing shirts sporting The Sisters of Mercy and listening to Primal Scream in the tape player of his very first car, he is dismayed to find all his old pals living lives of responsibility and commitment, mere shadows of their younger, binge-drinking selves.
Through persistence and a little porky about a dead mother, Gary manages to get the whole gang back to their hometown to finish what they started twenty years ago. I needn’t really bother saying they get more than they bargain for but… they do; as it soon becomes apparent that Newton Haven is almost entirely populated by robots; surprisingly unsettling robots as a matter of fact.
The World’s End is crammed with all the running gags and pop culture references we’ve come to expect from the combined minds of Wright and Pegg but literally none of the gore of its two predecessors; this instead being replaced by robot dismemberment and some sort of inky substance.
Like the other two films there is a veritable plethora of cameos from members both obscure and renowned from the bejewelled pantheon of British comedy and beyond as well as those genuinely human moments we’ve seen between Pegg and Frost’s characters.
It’s not laugh-a-minute stuff and it’ll prove even less droll for those who fail to get the in-jokes and clever references, of which there are more than you can shake a cricket bat at. However, there are plenty of times a smirk or chuckle will be wrested and a few moments which are just laugh-out-loud funny. The rest of the film is filled with intrigue in regards to the story and adrenaline-pumping action.
Make no mistake though, The World’s End may have the heart (or CPU in this case) of its brothers but it has a soul entirely of its own. Definitely worth a watch again to pick up on the things you WILL have missed the first time around, as is Wrightian tradition.
This is all-round, rich entertainment that reaches a slightly hollow destination which can be forgiven for the richness of the journey and it proudly takes its place as the finale to a legendary series hugely popular amongst regular cinemagoers and its loyal cult following alike.