Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright have proved to be a formidable comedic team ever since their beginnings in the BBC comedy series Spaced. Their greatest accomplishment however comes with the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, or as it is in the US, the Blood and Ice Cream trilogy. For everyone who has been living under a rock, this trilogy consists of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and finally The World’s End. Thankfully, I really couldn’t have asked for a better film to close out this trilogy and, in my opinion, this is the best film of the three.
Gary King (Simon Pegg) is a pathetic man who seems to be stuck in the days of his youth. All that he can think about is a pub crawl that he did in his home town with his best friends over twenty years ago, but it bothers him that they didn’t make it all the way. Gary reunites the old group to head back to the town a Newton Haven and make it through all of the pubs ending with The World’s End. His friends are Andy (Nick Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), and Steven (Paddy Considine), and out of the five, only Gary is excited to be doing this. Halfway through, however, a very interesting situation comes up that explains a lot of odd things that have been happening since they got town. It turns out that everyone in the town has been replaced by robotic replicants, and now they are targeted. They can’t stop now, however, and vow to get out of Newton Haven once the pub crawl is completed.
Anyone who has seen a movie made by these guys no that the humor is out of this world and nostalgic. Here we have this sort of modern take and comical version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. These guys know exactly what pleases fans based off their own knowledge of cool science fiction and horror, which was made very clear by their multiple references in Spaced. Unlike Spaced, and the other two films in this trilogy is that this one has a distinct sense of maturity. The actors and other people involved on these films aren’t getting any younger, and they all know it, but that isn’t stopping them from throwing in their own anarchic and nostalgic humor that hasn’t slowed down in all these years.
I’ve seen this movie twice this week, and this isn’t me complaining, not just because it’s a great movie, but because there is so much to see. What I mean by that is that the snappy dialogue and sight gags go by so fast, that you may need to see it more than once to really catch all the jokes. Whether it’s Martin Freeman making some sort of whacky face in the background or Simon Pegg snapping off a line of sarcastic dialogue, you really need to be paying attention in order to catch everything. So the comedy is all well and good and all the actors pull it off well, but the drama in this movie is on par with that of Shaun of the Dead. This movie is about letting go of what you may think are the best times of your life and learning how to accept responsibility and everything that comes with it. That’s where a core part of the drama is, and Simon Pegg does absolutely outstanding work at making us feel sorry for Gary King, even though we all know he needs to grow up.
So, this point I want to make may sound like a very unimportant thing, but it really jumped out at me. What I am speaking of is the sound design. For one thing, when the “robots” open their eyes and mouths all wide, and the blue lights shine through with the blaring voice of The Network (voiced by Bill Nighy), the mechanic kind of hum that drones throughout the scene is so cool. That along with the sounds of limbs popping out of sockets and heads getting smashed like eggs, makes me think that whoever was doing the foley and the sound mixing deserve a handshake.
Edgar Wright and company really prove themselves again with The World’s End. It’s a brilliant combination of comedy, science fiction, and touching human drama that nearly everyone can relate to. If your a fan of the other films in this trilogy and are accustomed to the occasional deadpan style of British comedy, than this is a guaranteed delight.