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“The World’s End”
Dir: Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsen
4.00 out 5.00
Movie Review — “Elysium”
MONTE YAZZIE ~ THE FOOTHILLS FOCUS~ 8/28/2013
“The World’s End” is the culminating film in director Edgar Wright’s comically tinged, mayhem laden Cornetto Trilogy, which includes “Hot Fuzz” and “Shaun of the Dead.”
Wright has proven skilled with his films, fashioning intelligent narratives and entertaining characters to inhabit the worlds he designs. The settings have typically been ordinary and mundane existences involving everyday people thrown into chaos: in one film the zombie apocalypse, and the other a crazed cult.
In “The World’s End,” Wright capped off the trilogy with impressive precision, mixing the themes of resentment, identity and evolving friendships around an invasion tale all during a beer-filled trip down memory lane.
The film begins in the life of Gary King (Simon Pegg), a middle-aged man longing for the freedom of his youth. Gary wants to complete a pub crawl called the Golden Mile in his small British hometown of Newton Haven—a challenge that he and his friends attempted unsuccessfully when they were young. Enlisting his now mature friends proves difficult as they are hesitant about doing anything with Gary, much less reliving the past. However, after some pleading, the guys reluctantly, and somewhat pityingly, decide to give the challenge another try. Then, unexpectedly, things go ridiculously sideways as the guys are thrown into a situation straight out of a science fiction novel.
This film, compared to the others in the trilogy, initially focused more on the underlying feelings of the characters and less on their superficial follies. Gary was a fun-loving guy masking regret and other issues, chasing after the one moment in his life when he was happiest. That emphasis permitted proper development and kept the group dynamic cohesive amidst a situation gone completely awry. It was a difficult execution for a film that presented so much character material, along with thematic changes, at one time.
Pegg and Frost were fantastic together, as they have been in all of the director’s incarnations. There was a genuine camaraderie between the two, to the effect that their spoken and physical comedy was so naturally witty. Their relationship was contagious, as was the interaction within the group of old pals so effectively executed.
Part of what made this work was the well-written script, composed by Wright and Pegg, which constructed each of the characters in their own unique ways. This offered the individual performances a relatable quality. Whether it was the friend that matured because of work, or the friend that grew up after getting married, the quirks fostered because those life-altering events were evident in some way. The narrative introduced the film with a slow, character-driven pace and built to an unexpected turn that quickly shifted into frenzied action. Wright delivered with some well-choreographed fight sequences and his familiar quick editing style that keeps the scenes interesting, if a little overlong in some instances.
“The World’s End” was an entertaining adult comedy with a science fiction twist, a fitting finale to the associated trilogy. Wright is a good director, combining the crudeness of a group of old friends on a beer challenge with touches of character-defining dramatic content. Even with some scenes that became slightly detached and overlong, the final result was still as satisfying as the Cornetto dessert the trilogy was named after.