It’s the end of the world but not as we know it. The conclusion to the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy from Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is a highly entertaining and amusing take on the science fiction genre involving huge amount of alcohol.
Following the success of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the third instalment from the Spaced team focuses on a group of friends reattempting an epic pub crawl in their hometown, before unearthing an alien/robot invasion.
Simon Pegg stars as never-grown-up man-child Gary King, who’s become obsessed with his epic pub crawl (the Golden Mile of twelve pubs) that he failed to complete with his best friends Andy, Ollie, Pete and Steve (Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine respectively) in their hometown of Newton Haven, twenty years ago.
After reuniting his four friends – all of whom, unlike Gary, have grown up and now have families and responsible jobs – Gary persuades them all to join him in recreating their epic twelve pubs, twelve pints pub crawl in Newton Haven.
However, after a few drinks, they discover that the locals are all behaving rather differently and soon their evening takes a bizarre turn and ‘The Five Musketeers’ end up fighting for their lives.
Co-written by Wright and Pegg, The World’s End feels darker with a sinister tone compared to the previous films in the so-called Blood and Ice Cream trilogy. The pop-culture references are not as frequently mentioned in the television series Spaced but it’s still manages to be hilarious thanks to some witty dialogue and visual gags.
The fast-cut video style from Wright brings a sense of excitement and energy into The World’s End and the bar-room brawls in particular are beautifully directed, done in a similar way to the fighting sequences in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
Pegg is just excellent in The World’s End. Pushing the limits from his usually likeable screen persona by playing Gary as a significantly more obnoxious character than we’re used to seeing.
Equally good is Frost as his best mate Andy. The on-screen chemistry with Pegg is a given thanks to their friendship off-camera.
The supporting cast is just fantastic with Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine playing Pegg’s old school mates. You can really sense the bonding between the old mates from these talented actors, reminiscing the fun and free lives before moving on and having responsibilities.
Rosamund Pike plays the love interest for both Pegg and Considine. Her part is just minor in the film and yet in that cliché sci-fi style, Pike comes to the rescue before the end of the world.
There’s also cameos from the likes of Pierce Bronson (who reunites his former Die Another Day co-star Rosamund Pike), Nicholas Burns and the old cast from the Spaced television series (Mark Heap, Michael Smiley, Reece Shearsmith and Julia Deakin).
The use of music is inspired and the flashback sequences to the men as teenagers recapture that free spirit of doing what ever their feel like perfectly.
It even manages to say some interesting points about both the gradual homogenisation of British society, in particular the gag involving chain pubs, as well as commenting on both the appeal and the inherent dangers of nostalgia.
So in summary, The World’s End is a fitting finale to the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy with a bangin’ soundtrack, fantastic cast and entertaining script. I raise my glass in approval to Wright, Pegg and Frost in providing so much fun and laughter over the years.