I finally managed to get around to seeing The World’s End last week after coming home from my massive road trip of massiveness.
The World’s End is about Gary King, played wonderfully by Simon Pegg, who is perhaps more than a little broken and living in the past. In an attempt to top the best day of his life he reunites his band of high school friends and they go back to their hometown to recreate an epic pub crawl that they’d started, but never finished. That in and of itself was an interesting story, maybe more of a drama perhaps, but then things get even more interesting when they discover the town has been taken over by aliens. Just normal stuff, really.
Edgar Wright had some interesting things to say about his inspiration for The World’s End in an interview he gave to GQ. “If you live in a small town and you move to London, which I did when I was 20, then when you go back out into the other small towns in England you go “oh my god, it’s all the same!” It’s like Bodysnatchers: literally our towns are being changed to death.” What Wright is referring to when he says “it’s all the same” is the local pubs, which each used to have their own look and feel, have now become standardized, like a chain restaurant. You definitely get a feel for this sentiment when you watch the movie. And in fact he takes this a step further and applies it not just to the pubs but the townspeople as well which have been replaced by alien replicas.
Like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, things tend to go way off the deep end of the crazy spectrum. Perhaps expected in Shaun of the Dead since it’s a zombie movie, but in this movie it’s otherwise a normal movie until about a third of the way through when suddenly things get derailed by the discovery of alien robot thingies. And that’s when the fun and laughs really kick in as well.
Was the movie great? Well, it does hold a 90% Fresh rating from the critics on Rotten Tomatoes and 81% Fresh audience rating. That’s pretty decent (especially from the critics) but I tend to side with the audience on this one. (I really don’t pay much attention to critics anyway, they are mostly self-important windbags; I prefer to see a movie for myself and form my own opinion, which I encourage all of you to do as well.)
I really do think that Simon Pegg gives a stand out performance in this movie. Others in the cast are just as great. The writing in this was perhaps a little clunkier than in previous installments of the Cornetto Trilogy, in that sometimes things weren’t very subtle, but it isn’t as if it’s bad writing. I was a little surprised by the ending (I’m not sure why, because it was all sorts of brilliant now that I look back on it) but overall, I really enjoyed this movie. I recommend checking it out if you have the time.