The World’s End
Directed by Edgar Wright
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine
Review by Jordan
Allow me to introduce you to The World’s End; the distant, charmless, spiritless relative of the ever-green Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. If you’re looking for a few laughs, you’ll find them here, if you’re looking for endearing characters or the belly-aching comedic gusto the Spaced crew have become renowned for, you will be disappointed.
Hobbled by a predictable plot and referencing one of the most downbeat sub-genres in film, The World’s End is never given the chance to shine as a worthy entry in the Wright/Pegg/Frost resume. The story is that of five childhood friends, leader of the pack Gary King (Pegg), his best friend Andrew (Frost) and their followers Steven (Considine), Oliver (Martin Freeman) and Peter (Eddie Marsan, very funny here) who return to their home town after 20 years to complete the epic pub crawl they never quite finished, concluding at the titular pub of which the name becomes quite literal. It doesn’t take long for the crew to be bludgeoned with the realisation that something is very off in this once dead town, as Gary picks a fight with a rather odd teenager in a dingy restroom and, dare I say it, gets blue on him.
Then begins the copious amount of bar-room brawls and the realisation that we are not in for a refreshing ride, but rather a stale underachievement.
In previous reviews I’ve apologised for comparing the latest efforts of renowned directors to their more well-loved achievements, claiming a movie must be rated on its own merits and not as part of a collective, but again I must be hypocritical, as even the appearance of the expected cornetto in this conclusion of a kind-of-trilogy is deflating. Spaced (1999) is one of the great cult TV shows, masterfully handling loving pop-culture references and contemporary humour, Shaun of the Dead (2004) is one of the defining comedies of the past decade and Hot Fuzz (2007) an energetic and crowd-pleasing action homage, so what went wrong here? It’s almost unfair to say that if this was made by a first time director it could be looked upon far more favourably, but we can, and should expect better from Edgar Wright.
Despite my negativity, if you’re a fan of British comedy or science fiction you should most certainly see The Word’s End, and I hope you have a fantastic time with it. There is enjoyment here, mainly in the film’s opening half when the pace is a little slower, but as a whole it felt unexpectedly shallow and listless to me.
2 tap waters out of 5