Movie Review: The World’s End (2013)

Posted: August 23, 2014 in Comedy
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Gary King (Thomas Law, Simon Pegg) had four best friends in high school.  Andy (Zachary Bailess, Nick Frost) Oliver (Nick Bromley, Martin Freeman) Peter (James Tarpley,  Eddie Marsan) and Steven (Jasper Levine, Paddy Considine)  The high point of Gary’s high school life seems to have  been the pub crawl he and his pals started but never completed.  Now, pushing 40, and fresh out of an AA meeting, Gary wants to do another pub crawl with his four best friends again, and he wants to finish this time.  Trouble is his friends have grown up, moved out of their hometown, of Newton Haven, and gotten responsible jobs.  Peter’s a car dealer, working for his dad. Steven’s a foreman at a construction site.  Oliver is a real estate agent, complete with Bluetooth device, and Andy is a corporate lawyer.  None of them wants to see Gary or do the pub crawl, known as the Golden Mile, but Gary manipulates and cajoles them into showing up.

On the way to the Golden Mile, Gary gets pulled over by a cop, and gives him Peter’s name. Andy has been sober for 16 years and drinks water at the first pub. They meet Oliver’s sister Sam (Rosamund Pike) at the second pub, she has a thing for Steven, but Gary propositions her in the ladies room, and gets slapped.  Gary’s banned from the third pub, but drinks a pint outside. In the fourth pub, something happens to Gary that changes the whole mission of the evening.  What happens to Gary?  Do Gary and his friends finish the Golden Mile?

I will admit it, Simon Pegg makes me laugh, hysterically. It all started with Shaun of The Dead.  Hot Fuzz was funny, but not as funny as Shaun. Run, Fatboy Run was funnier than Hot Fuzz, but not as funny as Shaun.  The World’s End is as funny as Sean of the Dead, with more clearly thought out themes  It is similar to Sean of the Dead, the threat is existential, and much of the action takes place in the small towns and pubs of England.  The themes reflect the importance of friendship, the importance of non-conformity, even the standardization of the look of pubs. It is much better than the often disjointed This is The End starring Seth Rogan, and James Franco.

Simon Pegg is hilarious once again, as the AA dropout, whose only goal in life is to have fun, preferably by the pint. Pegg’s character shows more depth than in other movies.  He’s the friend who wants to bring all his friends back together, despite the fact that no one wants to see him.  All his friends want to get together, but they’re too busy trying to fit in to meet up.  Pegg plays the non-conformist perfectly, he;s got nothing to lose, so why should he try to fit the usual mold? Pegg has lots of help, Martin Freeman of Sherlock and Hobbit fame is really funny as Oliver, the most conformist of all of Pegg’s  friends.  Nick Frost was in Hot Fuzz and Shaun of The Dead, so they have camaraderie already, again funny as Andy, the guy who wants to see Pegg the least.  Paddy Considine also in Hot Fuzz, was good as Pegg’s friend and romantic rival. Eddie Marsan is also funny as Peter, Pegg’s mild mannered pal.  Rosamund Pike does a nice comedic turn as Pegg’s romantic interest.  A really good ensemble cast, with really good chemistry.

The writing by Pegg and Eric Wright is very funny.  Wright co-wrote Hot Fuzz, Shaun  of The Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.  Well two out of three isn’t bad.   If there’s one thing I didn’t like it was the length, two hours is too long for a comedy, but all two hours are filled with jokes, so the length isn’t too taxing.

The World’s End.  Raises the bar on comedy.



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