Friday, August 23

The World's End Review

The World's End

Dir: Edgar Wright

Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsen

The World’s End is the culminating film in director Edgar Wright’s comically tinged, mayhem laden Cornetto Trilogy, which includes Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. Wright has proven skilled with his films, fashioning intelligent narratives and entertaining characters to inhabit the worlds he designs. The settings are typically ordinary and mundane existences involving everyday people that are thrown into chaos, in one film the zombie apocalypse and the other a crazed cult. With The World’s End, Wright caps off the trilogy with impressive precision, mixing the themes of resentment, identity, and evolving friendships around an invasion tale all during a beer-filled trip down memory lane.

The film begins in the life of Gary King (Simon Pegg), a middle-aged man longing for the freedom of his youth. Gary wants to complete a pug crawl called the Golden Mile in his small British hometown of Newton Haven; a challenge that he and his friends attempted unsuccessfully when they were young. Enlisting his now mature friends proves difficult as they are hesitant about doing anything with Gary, much less reliving the past. However after some pleading the guys reluctantly, and somewhat pityingly, decide to give the challenge another try. Then, unexpectedly, things go ridiculously sideways as the guys are thrown into a situation straight out of a science fiction novel.

This film, compared to the others in the trilogy, focuses more initially on the underlying feelings of the characters and less on their superficial follies. Gary is a fun loving guy masking regret and other issues, chasing after the one moment in his life where he was happiest. This emphasis permits proper development and keeps the group dynamic cohesive amidst a situation gone completely awry. It’s a difficult execution for a film that presents so much character material, along with thematic changes, at one time.

Pegg and Frost are fantastic together, as they have been in all of the director’s incarnations. There is a genuine camaraderie between the two, to the effect that their spoken and physical comedy is so naturally witty. There relationship is contagious as the interaction within the group of old pals is also effectively executed. Part of what makes this work is the well-written script, composed by Wright and Pegg, which construct each of the characters in their own unique ways. This offers the individual performances a relatable quality. Whether it’s the friend that matured because of work or the friend that grew up after getting married, the quirks fostered because of those life-altering events are evident in some way.  The narrative introduces the film a slow, character driven pace and builds to an unexpected turn that quickly shifts into frenzied action. Wright delivers with some well-choreographed fight sequences and his familiar quick editing style that keeps the scenes interesting, if a little overlong in some instances.

The World’s End is an entertaining adult comedy with a science fiction twist, a fitting finale to the associated trilogy. Wright is a good director, combining the crudeness of a group of old friends on a beer challenge with touches of character defining dramatic content. Even with some scenes that become slightly detached and overlong, the final result is still as satisfying as the Cornetto dessert the trilogy is named after.

Monte’s Rating

4.25 out of 5.00

No comments:

Post a Comment