The World’s End (2013) Review

It’s something of a no brainer that fans of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz will need little convincing to go check out director Edgar Wright’s latest film, in what has come to be known as the Cornetto (Blood and Ice Cream) trilogy, The World’s End. But even if you’re new to the pratfalls and hijinks of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg, the real beauty of this gem is that it stands on its own feet and should easily win over audiences of all types.

Reluctantly, and on the insistence of their former school chum, Gary King (Simon Pegg), four friends agree to try and finish an epic twelve pub drunken crawl. But what is clearly evident to everyone except Gary is that twenty years have passed since their first attempt and that most of their former glory has long since faded away. Along this crazy night there are epiphanies, drunken bathroom brawls, and townspeople who are not quite who they appear to be.

The World’s End offers up ridiculously hilarious fight scenes, quick witted humor, and what has come to be known as a staple in Wright film’s, the cool looking, close-up/smash cut edit. But aside from the sometimes frantic and dizzying imagery, the film really stands out in its likeability (or lack thereof) of the main characters. Pegg, who plays against type here, is both immediately fun to watch and detestable. His youthful character that refused to grow up does take a while to reach his arc, but when he finally gets there, it comes at just the right moment of sincerity and calamity. This go around, Nick Frost expertly plays the straight man Andy Knightley whose once unshakable friendship with Gary has been tainted by something that is hidden just under the surface.

The rest of the cast including Martin Freeman (The Hobbit, Sherlock Holmes), Paddy Considine (Cinderella Man, The Bourne Ultimatum), Eddie Marsan (Ray Donovan, Jack The Giant Slayer), and Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher, Surrogates), all give terrific supporting performances and only add to the wealth of this often over the top, situational comedy sci-fi romp. Also, be on the lookout for small but fine work from Pierce Brosnan, Darren Boyd, and David Bradley.

While there are a lot of inside jokes that only the devoted fans will get, overall this is an extremely well put together tale that offers a little something for everyone. While some might be surprised with how the film ends, the consistently funny script and poignant performances should leave a smile on most moviegoers’ faces long after they have left the theater.

If you’ve been waiting all year for a proper, slightly ludicrous, genre mixing comedy, then pull up a stool and grab a pint at The World’s End. You won’t be disappointed.