Martin-Freeman-Paddy-Considine-Simon-Pegg-Nick-Frost-and-Eddie-Marsan-in-The-Worlds-EndAside from trying and miserably failing to jump over fences, one sustaining factor in the previous two features in the affectionately named Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, is that of eternal youth, the idea that these big kids remain within a forever young mindset, reluctant to face adulthood. In The World’s End such a theme is at its most prevalent, where growing up is now essential, rather than favourable, as a film about five old friends who attempt to recreate a failed pub crawl from their youth. However sadly by the time we get to the final pub, this Cornetto has melted.

As Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg join forces once again, the latter plays Gary King, a lonesome man nearing 40, who wants nothing more than to reunite his oldest friends back together, and tackle the infamous pub crawl in their home town which they failed at miserably 20 years previous. Managing to persuade Oliver (Martin Freeman), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Andy (Frost) to join him on his quest, the five piece head back home, this time intent on reaching the final pub on their venture; The World’s End. However such an aim soon becomes the least of their problems, as they discover that all is not as it seems in this humble town.

In a similar vein to Shaun of the Dead, we have normal people unwittingly placed within surreal situations, however this isn’t quite as polished as what came before, and lacks that ingenuity this trio have become so famed for. The premise is fantastically simplistic and has much potential, but as we delve deeper into the story the cracks begin to appear, as we carelessly deviate away from the true crux of this story, as a film that steadily heads downhill as we progress towards the latter stages.

Though Pegg turns in an incredible performance as our lead – arguably the finest of his career thus far, portraying the tragic elements to Gary King sincerely – sadly the character isn’t quite as likeable as one would have hoped him to be, which is a surprising disappointment given how inherently endearing Pegg is as an actor. A flawed hero he may be, but one you may just struggle to root for. The character also suffers as the result of an unsuccessful role reversal between Pegg and Frost, as for the first time in the trilogy, it’s the latter who plays the “straight” guy. In Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, it’s Pegg who has to keep Frost in check, as the more mature and supposedly sophisticated of the two, and it doesn’t quite work as well the other way around. You can understand why the actors felt inclined to switch roles, however some things are simply better left as they are. Meanwhile, the supporting characters are not used nearly enough, and despite attracting three immensely talented actors, there is little depth to their roles and the film is lacking in any palpable character development, denying the chance for them to fulfil their potential as actors.

On the plus side, there are some moments of sheer class, with riotous laughter littered throughout this production. The main source of comedy is how this collection of friends attempt to solve this big puzzle and fight against these demons when absolutely plastered, while the way we pensively watch them get more and more drunk adds to the humour, which builds up throughout the production, as the group that reach the end look somewhat different to the well-dressed, orderly gentlemen that initially take on this task. Other positives come in the brilliantly choreographed fighting sequences, and the masterfully selected soundtrack, with a blend of nineties classics ranging from Primal Scream to The Stone Roses to Blur, working as a well-judged backdrop to this already nostalgia-infused feature.

Though hilarious in parts, and heartwarming in others, The World’s End has the great misfortune of simply being branded as a “fun” comedy, and one that is sadly unlikely to amount to being too much more than that. Given the immense quality we have seen this trio be capable of in the past (Spaced, anyone?), it’s hard not to feel somewhat underwhelmed by this middling comedy flick. So when you watch The World’s End, desperately thirsty for a swig of Pegg, Frost and Wright’s genius, be prepared to settle for just half a shandy, as this picture isn’t quite the full pint of bitter we had hoped it might be.


  • theaaronbennett

    I guess the biggest problem with these guys is that every time they collaborate, we expect “a slice of fried gold” – so when they do something merely good, we inevitably see it as a letdown.
    One needs to learn to take each effort on its own merits, and rather than compare this to ‘spaced’ or ‘shaun of the dead’, look at it as its own beast…

  • Marz

    Spaced is not done by this trio although they all took part, Jessica Stevenson was a very important writer for spaced.

  • Glen Bray

    I have to say I agree with the idea of them having only produced something good. I can’t say there are any major faults with this film, just needed something extra to take it to the next level.
    I really liked the way you write. You should have a look at Cayova, they are offering $10,000 sponsorship deals for skilled writers like yourself. You should check it out.

  • James funny man

    It’s a crap over hyped movie. Hot fuzz and Paul were so unfunny. Will skip this.

  • FranklinBluth1981

    Shaun isn’t as good as it was the first few times I saw it, Hot Fuzz is still awesome, and well… someone mentioned Paul. Didn’t know they had made that. It sucked due to Seth Rogen playing himself in a comedy not meta and annoyingly(and hilariously)funny. Though… The End of the World was great due to Danny McBride, odd behavior from James Franco, and Jonah Hill’s affected greatest guy ever.

    This has to be great. Spaced was great though I’m aware they didn’t do it all. The trailers have appeared to show most of the great lines… which might not be great. And the best horror film(unless you think Maniac or maybe the Conjuring is better)”You’re Next” is being released on the same day. Both will have similar audiences.

  • FranklinBluth1981

    Great’s my favorite word.

  • Woody Mellow

    Oh my, what a rather joyless review and comments section. I would argue that given the arc of both Pegg’s and Frost’s charterers’ this film has a rather weightier and darker underpinnings then either of the first two films. Not sure how you didnt to see that.

    Any way for my part: I completely and absolutely adored this. Just a marvelous film. And such a rock solid screenplay. Its was joy to behold.

    The audience last night was near breathless by the end, it was just one great gag after another and the action was fantastically shot and choreographed.

    there are far better films to direct your apathy and ire at. This one’s a winner. i guess I just like liking things though.

  • Woody Mellow

    Even comparing it to their previous work this stands up just fine. In fact I’m considering whether or not this is the best of the three. Time will tell.

  • Stefan Pape

    I think calling this review “joyless” is very harsh. I liked various aspects to this film – but sadly there were also parts that didn’t quite do it for me.

    Also, to imply that I don’t “like liking things” is unfair. We just have differing opinions on this particular film, that’s all.

  • Woody Mellow

    I should probably say that my “like liking things” jibe was directed more at the de rigueur negativity of the comments rather than your piece.
    And even though I recognise it as a largely positive write up, I still found your review without joy and I’m sorry you think that harsh.

  • BeatPoet67

    No, he’s right. The first 45 mins is far better than the last part, where it went badly downhill for me (how many times are we asked to suspend our disbelief?!).

    They could have made a funny but serious film out of the initial premise and the characters involved. Missed opportunity…no aliens were required here.

  • Woody Mellow

    Im having a problem suspending my disbelief over this comment. No aliens required? Good lord.

  • BeatPoet67

    It is what it is. It got crap when the aliens were invoked. I didn’t read any plot synopsis or reviews beforehand. Try it.

  • Woody Mellow

    A bit late for that. Hey Stephan?: Joyless