That’s Why I Drink Using a Crazy Straw. Not So Crazy Now!
When this movie was out in theaters, I was very excited to see it. It was the third outing for a director I love, two writers I love, and two actors I love. I even saw this movie while it was still in theaters. And then I forgot to review it. My notes must’ve gotten covered up on my desk and I eventually just forgot that I hadn’t done it yet. I’ve even reviewed the other two movies in the trilogy in preparation for this review! Then, when this movie came out on DVD on Tuesday, I went to repost my review to let people know if they should buy it, only to find that I had failed you all. Well no more! Today, I bring you my late review of The World’s End, written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, directed by Edgar Wright, and starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, David Bradley, Michael Smiley, Pierce Brosnan, and Bill Nighy.
Gary King (Simon Pegg) sets his sights on getting the band back together, recruiting his old high school friends – Andy Knightley (Nick Frost), Steven Prince (Paddy Considine), Oliver “O-Man” Chamberlain (Martin Freeman), and Peter Page (Eddie Marsan) – to finish the 12 bar pub crawl that they attempted and failed 20 years earlier. The other friends have all grown up and none are interested in making the attempt, but Gary manages to persuade all of them anyway. But when the group arrives in Newton Haven, they find that things have changed. Is it because they’ve all grown older, or is it because the town has been taken over by alien robots? Who can say, really?
The problem I had with this movie is that it was part of the Cornetto trilogy. On its own, I imagine I would’ve thought it was fantastic. I guess I still did, but the problem is that Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were superior. So it’s the worst of the Cornetto trilogy, but still one of the best comedies of this year. It’s a lot of the writing that makes these movies so enjoyable. They’re chock full of fantastic wordplay and the stories are so well thought out that they you have to really pay attention to the little things to see all of the hidden jokes. But I greatly appreciate some good wordplay. Their Peter/Paul run was good, Dr. Ink was great once I figured it out, the white lie of his mother’s death line was hilarious, and many of the selective memory jokes were all the reasons that these movies stand apart so well. I also appreciated all the ways Gary misunderstood what people were saying to him, like when he said, “What the fuck does WTF mean?” But I think the thing I always appreciated most about these Cornetto movies is how they foreshadow everything that’s going to happen in various different ways; be they from off-handed remarks people make to the names of the bars and the order they’re in. They’ve always been expertly hidden in their movies. I know that I had to watch Shaun of the Dead a second time before I truly saw the brilliance of the movie. This movie does the same thing, but part of the problem is that I expected the foreshadowing because of their other two movies, and it can kind of spoil the outcome. Though the outcome isn’t the biggest twist in the world, so it isn’t that big of a loss.
Another thing that sets the Cornetto movies apart from most comedies is that they are legitimately good examples of the movie types they’re parodying. Shaun of the Dead is one of my favorite zombie movies. Hot Fuzz is one of my favorite action movies. And now The World’s End would definitely fit towards the top of my science fiction movies. They have some great special effects and some fantastic action as well. Where else might you see Simon Pegg Rock Bottom someone and Nick Frost deliver a People’s Elbow? Then there’s a big fight where Nick Frost lays a beating down on a room full of robots and Simon Pegg fights like Jackie Chan in the Legend of Drunken Master. I’m 100% behind all of this!
No surprises here, but I still love all the people I loved before I even started watching this movie. And I started loving those I was indifferent to. Simon Pegg is still fantastic. He did a great job of being funny and always appearing jovial while still seeming like there was some depression hiding just beneath the surface. Nick Frost was losing me towards the beginning of the movie when he was straight-laced and generally being a dick to Simon, but once he starts slamming down the shots he got back to the Nick Frost I love. Also, this movie has the second James Bond in one of the Cornetto trilogy (Pierce Brosnan. Hot Fuzz had Timothy Dalton) and the first one to have a Bond girl (Rosamund Pike). Interesting fact, but not interesting enough to give me something else to say about it.
I would say that The World’s End is the weakest of the three movies in the Cornetto Trilogy, but with the level of competition offered by the other two that’s not saying much. The World’s End is a great movie on its own, but it can be somewhat hindered by the comparison. The story is good though it gets a little heavy handed at the end, but how well it’s planned out and how well the jokes are written can easily overcome that minor problem. It’s also got some really good action scenes and a phenomenal cast. This is still definitely a movie that’s worth seeing. In fact, it’s good enough to just go out and buy. The World’s End gets “I still think nothing that has been suggested in the last 10 minutes beats ‘smashy smashy egg men’” out of “There’s only one Gary King!”
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