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Judy Thorburn's Movie Reviews

The World's End | Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike | Review

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4sm The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD Judy Thorburn

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4lg The Flick Chicks movie rating for this film is GOOD


The World's End

I never expected that a British film import would emerge as a bright spot from among the onslaught of dim witted, crappy comedies the studios tend to release during the summer months.  That's right.  The World's End, the last of the “Cornetto Triology”, which re-teams actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost once again with director Edgar Wright following their hits Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007), took me by surprise with its perfect balance of dark, offbeat comedy and sci fi.  I have to say it is the funniest comedy of the year, so far.

Simon Pegg co-wrote the script with Wright and what I think it is his best work yet, he stars as Gary King, the lead character, an immature, forty year old alcoholic that lives in the past, just wants to have fun and still walks around in the same black trench coat over a Sisters of Mercy tee shirt from his teen years.

The story follows Gary as he reunites with his high school buddies from 1990 and convinces them to live out his dream and finish something they never completed, a five day mission to drink their way through 12 bars including their ultimate destination, a pub called The World's End, on the so-called “Golden Mile”  back in their hometown of Newton Haven.

While Gary still acts irresponsibly and hasn't made anything of himself, in the intervening years, his four buddies have grown up, gone their separate ways, and moved on with their lives. Steve (Paddy Considine) is a divorced, construction foreman. Andy (Nick Frost), whom Gary referred to as his “wing man”, someone he could always rely on, is now a teetotaling (although that is about to change) corporate lawyer. Oliver (Martin Freeman) is a real estate agent and Peter, the youngest of the bunch, (Eddie Marsan) works for his dad as a car salesman. At first, the guys aren't keen on the idea, but eventually, for one reason or another, they agree to go along for the ride, which happens to be Gary's old car that he's labeled The Beast.

Before too long it becomes clear all is not right with the residents of Newton Haven. The people look normal, but act awfully strange. An early encounter with a gang of young men in a pub's rest room results in a deadly, gruesome fight with heads being ripped off, limbs flying, and blue, not red blood, spewing from what appears to be robots.  Soon, Gary and his buddies discover that he and his friends are not the only ones on a mission. The town and its people have been invaded by extra terrestrial aliens who are on a mission of their own.  Revealing more about their intent would be a spoiler.

What ensues is a race against time as the self proclaimed “Five Musketeers”, are determined to finish the pub crawl and make it to The World's End, while being chased by otherworldly entities.

At one point, Oliver's sister, Sam (Rosamund Pike) a porcelain skinned beauty, enters the mix as the lone female with Gary and Steve competing for her affection. For Gary its strictly lust, going back to a quickie sexual encounter with her back in their teens.  But for Steve, it is something more deep and real, as he has been in love with Sam since high school.  

The reasons The World's End works so well is because of the clever script and wonderful, talented cast.  The five actors portraying onscreen buddies have an amazing chemistry and camaraderie. It is so much fun watching the way they interact, banter back and forth, deliver the hilarious and occasional, off the wall witty dialogue and engage in zany shenanigans. Also, making an appearance in a small role is Pierce Brosnan as the group's former high school teacher and an unseen Bill Nighy supplies the voice of the alien “Network”.

Obviously, not the typical buddy, road trip movie, this apocalyptic tale borrows from several classic sci fi horror sources including, The Stepford Wives and Invasion of the Body Snatchers while offering up thoughts about recapturing your youth, not letting anything get in the way of living your dream, friendship and assimilation.

Now, while the end of the world is nothing to laugh about, the journey to The World's End is a  complete hoot.  Enough said. Go see it and have a rollicking good time.

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