Director: Edgar Wright
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike
Running time: 109 minutes
Slacker Gary King (Pegg) assembles four of his old high school friends to recreate a pub crawl they failed years earlier in the town of Newton Haven. However, once they get there the town seems different from how they remembered it, leading them to question whether they’ve changed or the town has…
The third flavour has landed. Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick frost teamed up back in 2004, off the back of TV’s Spaced, to bring us the first entry of the now-dubbed ‘Cornetto Trilogy’, the blisteringly funny Shaun Of The Dead, a homage to George Romero’s influential zombie movies thick with satire and wit. Three years later came the very funny Hot Fuzz, a sweet, sinister buddy cop movie which I liked very much but always thought was just off the genius of Shaun. I approached The World’s End with quiet excitement, hoping that it would turn out to be the surprise gem of the ice cream crop, but despite being the mint of the three – my favourite flavour – it was something of a disappointment.
Now, that’s not necessarily to say the film is bad. I generally enjoyed myself enough, but it just didn’t feel special. It’s like when you see a Pixar movie; it can be perfectly fine, but if it’s anything less than brilliant you can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. The World’s End certainly has funny moments, but it just isn’t as funny as Shaun or Fuzz. There’s a fun idea behind it, but it just isn’t as fun as Shaun or Fuzz. It’s less freeing. There’s a slightly different feel to it, a nuance in tone, that’s hard to put into words. In the end, it just isn’t quite satisfying enough. Perhaps it’s to do with the formula shift; Pegg playing the part of the slightly stupid, lazy (and irritating) slacker while Frost is the more respectable, successful workman. I’m quite happy to see them shuffle things around a bit, but this dynamic doesn’t work so well.
Marsan, Freeman, Considine and Pike are all really good. The former three, playing Pegg and Frost’s school chums, play off each other brilliantly, and Pike is always a welcome screen presence. The comic timing of everyone involved is just breathless. These people are comedians through and through (well, perhaps Marsan and Considine aren’t, but they all have what it takes). There’s also surprise cameo that brought a big smile to my face – try not to let it be ruined for you.
There’s nothing to particularly dislike here, there are just things to pine for. My feeling down on it is really a testament to how good these guys are. The World’s End is an alright film and a perfectly inoffensive way to spend a couple of hours, but I wanted more. I wanted to grin wider and more often. I wanted it to feel more special, to be more satisfied. As a stand-alone film it might work better, but as an ending to the trilogy, it’s below par.