Avoid The World's End if You Take Your Movies Clean with a Message
- Friday, August 23, 2013
DVD Release Date: November 19, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: August 23, 2013
Rating: R for pervasive language including sexual references.
Genre: Action | Comedy | Sci-Fi
Run Time: 109 minutes
Director: Edgar Wright
Actors: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike, Pierce Brosnan
Twenty years ago, five friends attempted to celebrate the end of their school days with an epic pub crawl along their home town's "Golden Mile," a route with not one, not five, but twelve pubs along its path. They didn't make it to the final stop, a bar called The World's End, but a boozy good time was had by... some. Two decades later those boys are in their forties and most of them have grown into responsible adults. That's when their old ringleader convinces them to get back together and give the Golden Mile another go.
The World's End completes what writers Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright refer to as "The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy" that began with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Like the earlier films, The World's End is wildly inappropriate and seriously funny. It's so wrong in so many ways, all of them hilarious. Clearly this is not a film for movie-goers looking for a heart-tugging story or an uplifting message. Fans of British sci-fi (Doctor Who, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Red Dwarf, and the like) and British comedy, however, are likely to love it. The World’s End is packed with appalling examples of bad behavior—drinking to excess, drug use, irresponsibility of every conceivable kind—but somehow that just makes watching the guys fight off aliens all the more entertaining.
Oh yes: there are aliens. They're plastic-like robot creatures that look human until you realize their appendages twist off a la Barbie in the hands of an angry toddler. This is the single best thing about the movie, because it makes the fight scenes—which are many—absolutely hysterical. I don't know if there's an award category for "best bathroom brawl" but if there is The World's End gets my vote. Fortunately, the robots (a moniker they don't appreciate, by the way) have hollow heads and blue ink-like blood so even when dismembered they're funnier than they are scary. All this makes The World's End much like a cartoon with live people (and "live" aliens) in lieu of animated characters. That's why it's so tempting to overlook the atrocious behavior and just enjoy the silliness of it all (it helps that it's a British movie since profanity always sounds so much less offensive when delivered in a British accent).
The cast is a true ensemble; all five drinking buddies play off each other with razor-sharp timing and surprisingly nuanced performances. The instigator of their pub crawl is Gary King (Simon Pegg, Star Trek) a 40-year old man stuck "at the cigarette end of his teens" who hasn’t matured past what he fondly remembers as "the best night of my life." He's horrible... he's pathetic... he's... eventually mildly heroic. His friends (Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan) match him with emotional yo-yos of their own. With this many characters in play it could have been difficult to keep their stories straight but these guys are all so good at creating memorable characters that's never a problem.
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