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The World's End

The World's End

What She said:

She

In my opinion, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have teamed up to make some truly worthwhile and fun movies.  I love both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.  The World’s End is the final installment in their collaboration with director Edgar Wright, and in many ways it does feel that way.  The movie carries with it a moodiness and darker undertones that signal that this is the conclusion of some great effort.  But rest assured, it also offers a decent amount of classic British humor that make for a raucous time.

The movie tells the story of Gary King (Pegg) a sloppy and destructive alcoholic who in no way has matured beyond the age of 17.  He is figuratively trapped in the year 1990, as he dwells on what he considers his glory years—drinking, smoking, hooking up with women, and questioning authority.  But the rest of the world has changed, and so Gary is now disconnected from any friends or family he had, and lives a pathetic loner existence.  Meanwhile, his former friends have all grown up and built lives and careers for themselves.  Gary has a realization during an AA meeting that he needs to get his old pals back together and finish an epic journey that they started back in their teens—the Golden Mile, a 12 pub crawl that weaves through their hometown and concludes at The World’s End.  They’d given it a shot way back when, but invariably failed.  Gary becomes fixated on the idea, like his life will finally be able to move forward or it will have meaning if he finishes the Golden Mile.  Gary, in only a way “The King” can, swindles his old friends into agreeing to the plan.  It’s clear from the outset that things will not work out well.  But they could not have imagined how difficult the Golden Mile would prove, as the group uncovers some pretty dicey people, er entities in their hometown and the journey literally becomes a matter of life or death.

I don’t want to give away too much here, but Gary is in for way more than his one-tracked mind can handle.  But it’s a growing experience for him and his old friends.  They have to learn the important value of teamwork, maturity, and forgiveness.  I know, this totally sounds dramatic and unfunny, but Wright has worked things so that you laugh, despite the darker undertones of the film.  Frost steps in as Gary’s former best friend, who harbors a lot of resentment for the man now.  He’s certainly not alone in that sentiment.  You’ll also see an appearance by Rosamund Pike, as one of their sisters, Bill Nighy, and even Pierce Brosnan.  For some reason, I really loved Brosnan.

The film has a climax that reminds you of just how broken of a man Gary is.  Plot-wise, this movie is very solid.  I mean, some may be turned off by how serious some of the content is, but it’s well done, and the storyline handles it well and in a way that keeps the sequence of events moving forward.  I had no problem keeping from getting bored with this movie.  It certainly kept my attention, despite the fact I was dead tired walking in to the movie theater.  You would actually be surprised by how many fight sequences are in The World’s End.  I’m talking real-deal karate-style hand-on-hand combat.  It’s very over-the-top in how they do it, and that adds to the charm and fun of the movie.  The humor employed in this film is of the classic British style.  Lots of innuendos and plays on words.  I’d actually like to see this flick again, just so I can catch anything that I missed.  There were a couple of jokes where 15-20 seconds later it dawned on me what they meant and I started laughing out of sequence. 

When I first came out of the theater, I felt a little torn on this movie.  I wondered if it was too dark.  But with time, my opinion has definitely swayed to the more positive end of the spectrum.  I liked what the filmmakers attempted to do here—makes things a little heavier, sort of like Toy Story 3 (it’s a stretch comparison , I know!).   It’s always good to see Pegg and Frost back together, and The World’s End is a truly unique venture.

Thumbs up.

The World's End

What He said:

He

I have heard from more than a few places that this is the last in the “trilogy” involving Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. I’m not sure what that means. I don’t know if that means the three will never make another movie together again, that this, Hot Fuzz, and Shaun of the Dead are loosely connected, or something entirely different. Besides thinking this looked funny, and liking the other two movies, I kind of wanted to see this in case the three of them don’t decide to collaborate again in the future.

The World's End

We all know somebody like Gary King (Simon Pegg). He’s still stuck in the past and has no plans on leaving it any time soon. For Gary, it’s one particular night in his life that he can’t quite get past.
Twenty years ago when Gary and his buddies were in their teens, they attempted to complete The Golden Mile: a famous pub crawl in the town of Newton Haven. They did not complete their goal of having a drink at every bar along the route, but they had a great time attempting it and Gary never forgot that.  It’s all he thinks about, even as the group grows up and apart from one another.

Everyone else has moved on though. Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver AKA O-Man (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Andy (Nick Frost) have all moved on and have successful professional and private lives. Peter is a car salesman at a high-end dealership. He’s also a very caring and loving father. I don’t remember what Steven does, but he’s dating a chick in her 20s – who is also a Pilates instructor – so he’s got that going for him. O-Man is a successful real estate agent who sells high-end properties. I don’t remember what industry Andy is in, but he appears to be a very successful businessman, with a nice little family too.

One day Gary has himself a little epiphany. He decides that he wants to relive that night one more time. Gary hasn’t seen the guys in years, and wasn’t in the bet terms with one of them the last time they were together, but he successfully convinces them all to give it a go.   

The World's End

Along the way they share old war stories, air their grievances with one another, and meet a few familiar faces along the way; one of which is O-Man’s sister Sam (Rosamund Pike). All of this is nothing compared to what they will eventually come to face with.

Something isn’t right with the town. There are plenty of familiar faces, but they are all acting a little strange. Sam and the guys uncover something they could have never imagined.

The She mentions that despite being really funny the movie gets pretty serious at times. It reminded me of a very specific part of Shaun of the Dead. That movie was really funny too, but there were a couple times it reminded you it was a horror-based comedy. It’s like a wakeup call for their audience. These guys obviously like their comedies to have a little more substance to them and it really makes for a stronger movie in the end. You spend most of the time laughing your ass off, but find yourself saying, “Yeah, been there” or “That makes sense” a few times. It can be a little jarring when a movie that is so over-the-top with the comedy has some more serious themes, but Wright, Pegg, and Frost manage to make it feel very natural.

Everyone was good in this movie, but I have to give a shout out to Eddie Marsan. He had me cracking up throughout the movie. His facial expressions were great.

Prognosis: Thumbs up.

This movie review as given the He said, She said seal of approval on September 7, 2013.

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