I Saw A Film Today… The World’s End

theworldsendEdgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz both hold a special place for me, some of which I’ve already expressed here on many separate occasions. But one aspect I haven’t expressed yet, which may be the most important aspect of all, is friendship. It is the central theme of all three film in the so-called Cornetto Trilogy. My love of these films has been shared mainly with one Mr. Justin Gilbert. And though we couldn’t share The World’s End together, I did get to spend it with Mr. Cody Billings, who I see most films with recently and is an all-around ginchy hombre. Point being, friends are awesome. So make sure you tell yours that bit of information.

In the summer of 1990, five high school friends living in the small English village of Newton Haven set out to accomplish the golden mile- a pub crawl that entails visiting 11 pubs before arriving at the final establishment, The World’s End. Gary King (Simon Pegg), Andy (Nick Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), and Steven (Paddy Considine) never make it to the end and after a few years they all drift apart.

Fast forward to the present and Alcoholic Gary is feeling nostalgic and wants to get the lads back together for another attempt at the golden mile. The thing is, where Gary is relatively unchanged from that night, the others have grown up and have dull jobs and lives. Reluctantly, they all agree to go back to their home town.

But what they find upon arriving there is that everything is a bit off. And from pub to pub, they find out why- the town has been overrun by alien robots.

The World’s End may have been a few years wait, but it was well worth it in the end. It is a hurricane of brilliant humor and heart-warming story, all set at a blinding pace. And for fans of Wright’s earlier work, going back to the Spaced days, there are plenty of great nuggets of fried gold sprinkled throughout.

The action in this film is top-notch. I mean, it puts nearly all the other fight sequences I’ve had to sit through this summer, with a possible exception of Elysium and Pacific Rim, to shame. Actually no, this beats those two as well. This has a flow and balance that most action films wish they had. And this really is not an action flick. It’s a wickedly hilarious one- A perfect blend of what made both Shaun and Fuzz as great as they are.

The greatest accomplishment of this ambitious film is that in the midst of high-energy action and humor, there is a hearty story about the disappointments of growing up and the minefields of friendships. It explores the high and lows, and the loyalty during both, and all the emotions that accompany it.

The cast is the bread a butter of this film. Whatever praise I’ve given so far, aside from those that rightfully go to Edgar Wright, is all because of the cast. The chemistry between Pegg and Frost is as electric as ever here, and they get to share that with three other brilliant English actors. And again, for those who have been fans since Spaced, there are plenty of little appearances to get chuffed about. And a Bond shows up too. Nice little nugget.

I highly doubt this will be the last time Wright, Frost, and Pegg will work together. Working with friends is a gift, and you do it whenever you can. Which is sadly why Schwarzenegger and Stallone keep making crap films together. But to bring this odd little trilogy of dual-genre films connected together by more than a simple ice cream cone, The World’s End is no better way I believe.

Verdict: See it!

* Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references. 109 minutes. Directed by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz).

** Thanks to my friend Cody for sharing this cinematic adventure with me. And to all friends.

*** Poster by unknown. If this is your poster, tell me so I can credit you. It’s great work mate.

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