The World's End
Let me tell you a story about a pub-crawl I participated in while I was studying abroad. I was in Florence, Italy on a weekend trip (the schooling was done in Rome). Our group had finished the tours and was trying to figure out what to do for the night. We had to get away from our rooms as they had no air conditioning and were smaller then my laundry room. We found ourselves at an Irish pub to watch the World Cup between Spain and Germany. I thought that we were going to leave after the game, but we ended up going to another bar a block away, just so that my friends could get drunk and sing karaoke. I won’t fully disclose what happened, but let’s say that that American Idol would never want my roommates and me.
As stupid as that was, I hold whatever memory I have left from that night close to my heart. I’m getting older and I’ll probably never have something that exciting happen (at least in a foreign country). A lot of people like to have that one night they can’t remember, yet want to remember. So here is what is the strangest of pub-crawl movies, The World’s End.
Like the previous Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, this is another British comedy with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. It seems like the goal of each film was to take something like a friendship or love story and place it against the weirdest genre, just to have as much fun as possible. Both movies are considered some of the best comedies around, so The World’s End has a lot to live up to. It seems like they really wanted to push with what could happen in a combination pub-crawl/robot action movie. It completely pays off.
Gary King (played by Simon Pegg) is an alcoholic man who seems to be stuck in time as he still wears a long overcoat that he kept as a teenager. All he wants is to complete a pub-crawl called the golden mile in his hometown of Newton Haven. Twelve pubs all-leading to The Worlds End bar. King manages to trick his friends Peter, Oliver, Steven, and Andy (played by Nick Frost) into coming, thinking that his mother had died. After tasting their first couple of pints, they get an eerie sense that something is wrong with they way everyone is acting. It turns out that everyone has been replaced by robots. In order to not draw suspicion, King convinces his friends that the only way to get through the night is to keep drinking and make it to The World’s End.
I’ll admit that the first two Simon Pegg and Nick frost comedies took me a while to warm up to. At first I thought that a lot of the jokes weren’t as funny as they intended to be and that the story didn’t make sense. But then someone told me…it wasn’t supposed to. It’s just chaos. It’s all about loving the imperfections of the human condition.I see that Shaun of The Dead and Hot Fuzz are a lot like Mel Brooks comedies, except they have no clue that their world is just a movie.
The World’s End continues the great tradition of balancing exploitive violence, very witty dialogue, and fast paced editing. I consider all three of the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost comedies to be products of verbal slapstick; it’s well timed and is the right amount. While I don’t know if I would claim this one as my favorite (Hot Fuzz was tough to top), The World’s End has the benefit of finally giving Simon Pegg the chance to play the egotistical jerk. Coming off a bit like a drugged out Doctor Who, his mood ranges from a out of control baby to a mild friend. His part balances along with the story being a jerk or a friend whenever the movie calls him to do so.
Also like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the special effects and fighting are actually a lot of fun. Blood (mostly robot) flies everywhere, robot heads fly everywhere and the men manage to battle the creatures to the death, despite being drunker then ever. But with each pint they swallow, the movie only gets crazier and more intense. You want to see these guys make it, even though the robots are stronger.
I’ll give this four and a half robot coppers out of five. I would have wanted a few more jokes to go along the robot action. But that’s just a nit pick. The Worlds End is a successful conclusion to the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost trilogy. I will say that if you didn’t like the other movies, this one will probably not sway you. But what I do ask is to give them all a chance and turn on the subtitles. Your gonna find that they throw a lot of great jokes.