It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Smashed)
Do you remember that one perfect night? One where you and your friends were invincible and the world was yours for the taking? No? Well, Gary King does, and he’s convinced four of his friends to help him recreate that momentous night. And what a night it is as the dangers of nostalgia and not being able to look forward are explored in the frantic sci-fi comedy, The World’s End.
They call it the Golden Mile, a pub crawl in the town of Newton Haven that takes you through twelve of the towns pubs. Gary King (Simon Pegg) and four of his closest childhood friends attempted, and failed, the Golden Mile the night they got out of school in 1990 and Gary has never quite been able to let it go. But before the festivities can commence, he has to convince the rest of the old gang to join him, a feat not, in and of itself, easy considering the fact they have all moved one with their lives. With a little manipulation and some lies, he manages to convince them. As they embark on the pub crawl, though, they soon begin to realize their home town has changed as the people have been replaced with, for lack of a better word, robots as part of an alien plot to take over the planet. But can they resolve their issues and make it to The World’s End?
Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg have, quite, skillfully crafted a tale of friendship and growing up with their work on the story. All five of the main characters are allowed plenty of time for development and we care for them each by the time the alien plot is discovered. Each of the twelve pubs give subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, hints as far as what’s going to happen next. Wright’s direction is frantic and filled with potent energy with an ample amount of visual style. So much in this movie speaks to the theme of inability to let go of youth, right up to the robot designs which are not unlike giant versions of action figures with interchangeable limbs.
Pegg is excellent as the boy that refuses to grow up, like a fractured reflection of Peter Pan. Nick Frost as Gary’s best childhood friend Andy, brings multiple layers to his character that are slowly stripped away with each drink he has. It’s a great treat to see the character role reversal between Pegg and Frost compared to what we are used to seeing between the two actors. Martin Freeman brings his usual amount of charm to the character of Oliver. Rosamund Pike is Sam, Oliver’s sister, past conquest of Gary’s, and the unrequited interest of Steven’s (Paddy Considine) love. And then there’s Peter (Eddie Marsan), the smallest of the group and constantly bullied in their youth and Marsan brings a great amount of innocence to the character. With this many central characters, it would be easy to over look any of them, but Wright gives each character a great deal of service.
The final part “The Cornetto Trilogy” or “The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy” (the other two being Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz) is easily one of the best movies of the summer, if not the entire year. It has very quickly become my favorite of these three exceptional films. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend you check it out if you get the chance, like now. As in right now. Quit reading this review and go experience it yourself.