The World’s End Review
Reviewed by James Amos.
“We are going to get to The Worlds End if it kills us.”
The World’s End is the final instalment of the ‘Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy’, involving the films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz; both of which are renowned as being classic British comedy films. So does The World’s End reach the bar set by the last two?
The short answer is yes. There’s something about Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright that makes their films automatically good quality entertainment. So walking into the cinema there were no worries that I’d be thrilled by, whatever it is I was about to watch. However, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were more than just entertainment; they were masterpieces. Hot Fuzz especially, the directing, the screenplay and the acting was so astonishing that you just have to watch it a number of times to take everything in. With this film it’s no different, but you wouldn’t be foolish in thinking it was for the first 30 minutes.
The beginning is very slow, and actually not very funny. It deals with Gary (Pegg) getting the lads back together to finish a pub crawl that they failed in completing back in the old days. Normally Wright’s directing would make up for a slow beginning, but even he isn’t on form for the first half an hour. The distinct and unique approach he gives in both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz is a joy to watch. However, in this film it appears he’s a tad off the ball. Wright’s directing in the previous two had its own exceptional style, securing his place in the trio, in The World’s End he seems to be a bit safe. He hasn’t really come up with any new tricks, which is a shame as it would have served as a comfortable reminder you were watching a Cornetto film within the first half an hour.
The moment I actually said to myself that I was enjoying what I was seeing was when the alien threat kicked in. It involves a rather hilarious bathroom scene where the five ‘musketeers’ suddenly turn into action heroes and defeat what will soon be referred to as the ‘Blanks’. It’s perfectly shot, perfectly acted and perfectly mad; and it only gets better from there. The jokes really start coming in as soon as the five of them are under threat, and you can’t help but laugh at their absurd plan to continue the pub crawl to act normal. It truly is a genius idea, and the final product is nearly done to perfection. The idea falls into the dangerous territory of replicating Shaun of the Dead, with a few people trying to reach a pub in an apocalyptic setting. Yet the trio blend in new ideas and a new style to truly make this its own film; of course with a few of the old jokes thrown in to cement it into the trilogy. For instance the fence jumping, the beer drinking, the cornetto cameo and a lot more which can probably only be noticed with a few rewatches.
The film also nearly falls into the trap of becoming too predictable. There are many moments where you just know what was going to happen next, which is alright as long as it doesn’t happen too often. Unfortunately it does here, although it doesn’t deter you from your enjoyment of the piece itself. The film is certainly a lot darker than the previous two, but it’s a whole lot sillier too; this is what Pegg was aiming for. The conclusion to the whole thing involving a voice appearance from the wonderful Bill Nighy is not only quite clever, but it’s absolutely hilarious. It also contains debatably the best quote from the whole film; however it’s probably vastly too inappropriate to post in this review!
All in all, if you’re worried this film won’t be quite as good and memorable as the previous two, then do not fear. The World’s End shares the same thrill and fun factor as the others and it produces it on an epic scale. It rounds off the trilogy in a very appropriate fashion, only narrowly missing out on being perfect. Of course, a fair few things you’ll want to see in this film probably won’t happen; wasn’t anyone else hoping for one of them to say: “You’ve got blue on you”? And as I said the beginning, it does have you checking your watch a few times wondering when things will truly get exciting. Yet, it’s a great film which truly deserves its place in the trilogy, probably coming on par with Shaun of the Dead but missing out on the top spot held by the amazing Hot Fuzz.
Just a warning though, you’ll definitely be craving a beer once the films finished.