Review: The World's End / Cert: 15 / Director: Edgar Wright / Screenplay: Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright / Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike / Release Date: Out Now
The World’s End is the final part in Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, the previous movies being the horror comedy Shaun of the Dead and the action movie pastiche Hot Fuzz. This final part draws its inspiration from paranoia-driven science fiction movies such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and They Live.
The plot revolves around Pegg’s character, Gary King, a man pushing forty who drags his childhood friends out on a pub crawl round their long-abandoned home town in a desperate attempt to relive his youth. King’s agenda seems to be an attempt to rewrite his personal history, and as the movie plays out, old friendships are rekindled and old grudges become sharpened. It slowly becomes obvious that something is terribly wrong with the town of Newton Haven, and the movie rapidly shifts from the mundane drama to creepy sci-fi. Laced with gags and clever references throughout, The World's End gets better and faster as it continues.
The idea of people returning to their home town and discovering that everything has changed works on multiple levels. Not only do we get the obvious sci-fi twists, it also allows Wright and Pegg to deliver a polemic against the corporate homogeneity of the modern day, with plenty of snarky references to chain pubs and the media obsession with youth.
Nick Frost and Simon Pegg are perfect on screen as always, playing off against each other with the familiar chemistry that has made them famous, and they are ably assisted by Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan, who are all playing to type. The friendships are strong and believable, lending sombre notes to what is essentially a sci-fi comedy romp.
The various features are a lovely addition to the DVD; the commentary is particularly enlightening and it doesn’t hurt that Pegg and Wright are both eloquent and charming throughout, filling the time with as much information and banter as possible. (Wright also drops a few tantalising hints about his fortcoming work for Marvel.) The trivia track is okay (though if you’ve lived through the '90s it's nothing terribly new) and the “making of” documentary is nice enough.
The World’s End is a worthy addition to the trilogy, fitting in neatly in terms of both maturity and hilarity. Well worth your time.
Extras: See Above