Get back in your rocket, and fuck off back to Legoland you cunt!
Everyone loves Shaun of the Dead, it was the movie that started The Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy (also known as the Cornetto Trilogy). With zombies being my favourite sub-genre of horror, I loved it to pieces. Then there was Hot Fuzz, a cop movie with lies and deceit around every corner. Hot Fuzz was a great follow-up from Shaun of the Dead, carrying over a similar tone, Edgar Wright’s trademark camera cuts and the humour we come to expect from these guys. Now, 9 years after Shaun of the Dead and 6 years after Hot Fuzz, have Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright delivered a worthy send off to their much beloved series of movies?
The World’s End is a story about 5 friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier, however, little do they know, they have unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival. We’ve had horror/ comedy and action/ comedy, so it’s only fitting we are now treated to their vision of a sci-fi/ comedy. The World’s End feels like a mash-up of Shaun of the Dead and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I say this because they are always on the run and it’s usually a guessing game as to who is human or not.
Simon Pegg returns like always, this time playing Gary King, a character I struggled to like, much preferring his previous characters in the other 2 movies. I say this because, even though it’s clear Simon Pegg is giving it his all during the movie, his acting is top-notch, I find the character unlikable due to his drinking problem and the way he treats his long-time friends. This is a story of redemption for his character however, and by the end, his life truly does start as he finds his way in life. Nick Frost returns as his best buddy, this time playing Andrew Knightley, a smart (for once!) character that has to learn to forgive Gary for the past and for how Gary’s life has turned out. The friendship of these actors is clearly present on-screen as they fight, cry and redeem each other as the movie progresses. It’s nice to see them together again.
Supporting both Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, we have Rosamund Pike, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine. They all have their own personalities and there’s some fantastic chemistry on-screen between them all. A real standout for me though was, well, everyone. I speak the truth, everyone has some great lines that will have you still giggling after you’ve walked out of the cinema. They all have different relationships with each other and friendship has never been captured this well before, they act like we all do with our friends. There’s also some great cameos too, all of which I’ll let you experience for yourself.
Director Edgar Wright continues to improve his skills as a director with every movie he directs. With The World’s End being his best work yet, from a directing standpoint. The quick cuts have been perfected, casting a shadow over his past work, as the pouring of a beer and water has never been so entertaining. The World’s End is also extremely action heavy, and his work on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and to a lesser extent Hot Fuzz have been put to great use, with fights scenes that flow fluidly, and chase scenes that will get your heart racing.
The writing is actually some of my favourite from The Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy. I think Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright have done a fantastic job with The World’s End. For me it delivers some of the best lines of the entire trilogy and the conversations are some of the funniest I’ve ever listened to. Shaun of the Dead always stood as the funniest to me with most of the humour coming mostly from the actions of the characters and not the script. Hot Fuzz was opposite yet with its more serious tone, it felt a little less funny than it could have been. The World’s End gets it perfect, jokes are thrown out on a constant basis, characters do stupid things and it all just works so well.
Unfortunately, it’s not all sunshine and daisy’s. The premise of the movie is something I still struggle to accept. It never feels original and to be honest feels a bit lazy. The pub crawl is the real standout, but it ends up fizzling out towards the end as they struggle to survive the towns people and not the alcohol. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers influence is all over the movie too, with the towns people (called Blanks I believe in the movie) shouting and pointing when they’ve spotted a human. It could almost fall into remake territory, but thankfully, enough is different to keep it from feeling like one.
Speaking of these Blanks, the name comes from one of the funnier scenes in the movie as they try to come up with a name for them. However, these Blanks are awfully generic. They have blue blood, and body parts pop off like they would on a plastic toy, they can however provide us with some very entertaining fight scenes with plenty of decapitations and limbs getting torn off. Yet they almost become very interesting when some twins end up getting beaten by Simon Pegg’s character only for one of them to come back with her sister’s legs as arms. This provides an interesting fight scene and something I wish would have happened more throughout the movie. This is the only occurrence though, and it’s a shame, it would have been cool if a large group of Blanks all combined to create something really fucked up. I felt like this could have given them more of a unique characteristic, but it is left unexplored.
The ending also ended up feeling rushed and cheap. We’ve spent most the movie in mystery as to what is really happening, where these Blanks come from and what they want. Yet in what can only be explained as a ‘here you go’ ending, we are told everything by the voice that is behind the Blanks. All our questions are answered in the space of 5 minutes and all the mystery is immediately destroyed. This particular scene does hold some of the greater laughs of the movie however. It does get better though, as after that scene, we get Nick Frost narrating as to what everyone is off doing now after escaping their hometown. It’s great and has some nice closure to it, especially for Simon Pegg’s character of Gary King. I don’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say I would love a sequel to this movie that focuses on Gary King and what he’s doing now, it would be a lot of fun, Mad Max style… in England.
A particular favourite scene of mine is their first encounter with the Blanks. Taking place in a pub bathroom, its full of great laughs and gratuitous violence. There’s five of them and five Blanks, and with such a small place to film a five on five fight scene, its done spectacularly well. From this point onwards the movie fully embraces it’s sci-fi nature which is just getting interesting at this point, and how they handle themselves after the fight is brilliant too.
Even though The World’s End isn’t the best of The Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy, that’s not to say it isn’t worthy of being part of it. It retains the same comedy gold we’ve come to know and love from these movies. It’s also packed full of violence despite the Blanks having blue blood. Whilst I’d still say Shaun of the Dead is my favourite, I’d say Hot Fuzz and The World’s End are evenly matched. If your fan of any kind, make it your mission to go and see this movie and experience it for yourself. It’s full of passion, love and everything in-between, The World’s End is a big thank you to all us fans who have supported Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg with their trilogy.
8 Pints of Beer out of 10