Director: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsden, Rosamund Pike
Written by: Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright
Running Time: 109 mins
Release date: 19th July 2013
When you have made two outstanding and incredibly popular comedies like Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, the level of expectation for a third film is so high, it’s almost off the chart and when that happens, you have a feeling deep in your heart that it is setting itself up for a fall. I can announce, very gladly, that the final section in the Cornetto trilogy, The World’s End, manages to hit those high expectations with gleeful abandonment for one of the most best, most rollicking pieces of cinematic entertainment this year.
Five school friends, coming to the end of their time in the sleepy little town of Newton Haven, decide to attempt the legendary pub crawl “The Golden Mile”. Twelve pubs accumulating in the final drinking establishment, The World’s End. The task is never completed. Forty years on, and the head of group, loud-mouth and obnoxious Gary King, decides to get the gang together and this time to complete it.
The gang have all grown up, have their own jobs and families and, in the case of Gary’s best friend, Andy Knightley, a great deal of water has passed under the bridge that has led them not to be so tight anymore. Under duress, the men agree but once they make it to Newton Haven, something doesn’t feel right and they could be the only people to save mankind.
Let’s get this out there right away. If you are fans of the Pegg/Frost/Wright’s previous films, you will know exactly what you are getting. It’s like returning to the arms of your mother when you are a baby: it’s safe, secure and comforting. There’s Wright’s trademark, extreme close-ups of random objects, a plot that is so bonkers, you do wonder about the sanity of Pegg and Wright and a comedy partnership that just shows how close Pegg and Frost are, not only on screen but in real life. If you haven’t experienced their past work, a) why not? and b). you are in for the ride of your life.
The film takes its time nicely. It could have been so easy to just jump straight into the action without giving the characters chance to develop. So the first half of the film we see these men who were boys slowly getting back together, bonding again and learning to trust each other once more. An important aspect to what happens in the second half of the film and when it happens, BAM! It is spectacular. (I have been asked by director Edgar Wright not to give away too much, so on his request, I won’t).
The boys have surrounded themselves with the creme of British talent. Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsden are always worth spending time with and here is no exception. Add to the equation, the beautiful Rosamund Pike and a few surprise appearances and you have a film that you should instantly want to rush to. Frost, as Andy, is given a much quieter role than normal as the almost sensible and reliable friend who changes massively when the action starts and he could give Arnie and Sly a run for their money in the fight sequences. Pegg is the lynch pin as Gary and if there is a quibble, there’s far too much of him in the first section. His annoying creation does grate and it then stifles the other cast members but this eases off once they get into the action section of the film.
Filmed mostly in Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City (places I know well that if you know the areas, a great new game to be played is “Where is that?”) this is a relentlessly funny film that has so many big laughs, it puts other comedies released recently to shame. Then when the action kicks in, it puts most recent action films to shame. The ending also rounds things up nicely, with a blink and you will miss it in-joke that had the audience I saw it with applauding.
Is it as good as Shaun or Hot Fuzz? They are hard acts to follow and personally I need to see it again to make a final decision but once thing is for sure, if you are looking for a complete package of funny, exciting entertainment, this is certainly it. Go and let the boys take you by the hand and lead you on a drunken adventure that will stay with you long after the hangover.