As is the case with new films, I’m going to try to keep this spoiler-free. “The World’s End” is the third installment of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, which includes “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” Both films parodied and paid homage to the horror and buddy comedy/action genres respectfully, and “The World’s End” is a send-up of sci-fi. But to give you an idea, here’s a summary of the film.
Five childhood friends once attempted to go on the fabled Golden Mile, which involved visiting and drinking at 12 pubs in a row. They failed at this, but Gary King, leader of the group, reunites the gang many years later to attempt it once again. This involves the five friends going back to their hometown, only to find during the pub run that things seem much different. It appears an invasion of some kind has happened, and the group must figure out how to survive while completing the Golden Mile.
After seeing this film, my feelings are a little mixed. I really enjoyed the previous two movies, especially Shaun, and anticipated this one for years. To be clear, I liked this movie. It was fun, fast-paced and all the actors had great chemistry. But I feel…a little let down by it.
For starters, there is a female character (as seen above) who joins the group once they discover what’s wrong with the town. I was eager to see what they did with her, seeing as the cast was mainly male. Unfortunately, we see little of the character throughout the rest of the movie. The actress was fine enough, but she didn’t get to do much with her character whatsoever.
My second problem was with the main character, Pegg’s Gary. I love Simon Pegg and have adored many performances of his. And here, he does a fine job as well. The problem is that his character is a colossal douche through most of the movie. He does get some good emotional moments near the end which makes you realize how broken and pathetic he is, but he’s constantly putting his friends and himself in danger all in an attempt to complete a pub run. It made it especially bad because the characters around him were likable and smart. If it weren’t for Pegg’s solid, convincing acting near the end, I wouldn’t have had any sympathy for the character.
My third problem is that I felt there weren’t as many laughs in this one. Now, I’m not a huge sci-fi movie fan in general, though I did catch some great references here and there. But I felt like something in the writing didn’t click with me as much this time. I think a lot of that has to do with the pub concept itself. I’m not a drinker myself, so drunks and pub hopping don’t interest me in the least. And while I enjoyed the invasion plot, I found the ending to be a bit of a weird turn, although an interesting one.
I will give this movie plenty of credit, though. As I said, I enjoyed most of the characters and the jokes that came from their personalities. I thought the effects were well done and the invasion plot of the movie kept me invested. A few cameos, both from actors and one particular Shaun reference that I won’t spoil, were also fun as well. Once again, the main actors all did great jobs. And finally, the movie overall still FELT like an Edgar Wright movie and had good pacing to match.
So, to sum up, is this an excellent movie? I’d say it’s at least good. Is it the best of the Cornetto trilogy? Personally, I don’t feel it is. For me, Shaun is still my personal fave and Hot Fuzz is a close second to it. So, I guess for me it falls at a solid third place as it does in the trilogy. Is it a movie worth seeing? Definitely. It’s the kind of thrill ride movie that I think is best seen with a few friends. Unless you dislike the previous two films or Edgar Wright’s work in general, it’s an enjoyable comedy/sci-fi popcorn flick. For me, while it was a little disappointing for final installment, “The World’s End” is part of a great trilogy and is a fine movie on its own merits.
My rating for “The World’s End” is a solid 7/10.