I’m a little late to this particular party, as The World’s End has all but disappeared from UK cinemas by now, but I think the US release is imminent, so that is my excuse for posting this now.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about the film because, well, I managed to avoid trailers and spoilers because it was pretty much a given that I’d want to see this( I’ve been a fan of Pegg & Frost since they made Spaced back in ’99 – also directed by Edgar Wright, who worked with them on the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy) and I think I enjoyed it more for that.
It’s a lot like Shaun of the Dead.
Simon Pegg plays high school cool kid turned alcoholic drop-out Gary King, who comes to the sudden realisation that his lifde has not worked out the way he planned because he and his friends epically failed to complete the legendary ‘Golden Mile’ pub crawl after leaving school, so he gets the band back together and they head off to finish the job as 40-odd year olds. It doesn’t go quite according to plan – and therein hangs the story.
As well as being full of the usual film references, laugh out loud moments, slapstick action sequences and inimitable Pegg/Frost chemistry we have come to expect from the Cornetto Trilogy, I loved this film because 1990.
The original teenage pub crawl took place in July 1990, and the whole movie plays out to a soundtrack of the exact indie rock tunes I was loving towards the end of my school career. We went on a pub crawl after the last day of school; it wouldn’t have made as good a movie as this one. Like the five protagonists in The World’s End, I have moved away from the places I spent my formative years, and on the occasions I’ve been back, it has always been with that weird sense of things being the same but indescribably different that the movie plays on. The setting itself, the probably fictional town of Newton Haven, could be one of any number of English towns I’ve visited (as it happens, I haven’t visited the places where it was filmed, which probably just goes to prove my point).
It’s like a lion eating houmous
And the cameo by the Cornetto was a great moment for movie geeks.
Slightly Spoilery Bit
Not too spoilery though; as I said, I enjoyed it more for not knowing much about what was going on. But this is where the bad bits have to go, so here they are:
Some of the action scenes did seem like just retreading Shaun. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, and Gary King especially drops some nice one-liners (usually beer-related) in the midst of the chaos.
The epilogue is a little unnecessary, unless they were deliberately trying to spoof Lord of the Rings with its multitude of false endings.
There are pauses for thought too: about growing up in a post-school sort of way, losing track of your past and trying to figure out who you really are, and in an even bigger sense, what it means to be human. Gary neatly sums this up at the end, with words to the effect that ‘we’re the human race, and we’ll do whatever we like’.
In conclusion then…
I could say more – there’s a lot that’s good about The World’s End in many ways – but essentially, you already know whether you want to see it or not. And if you do want to, you won’t be disappointed.
So let’s BooBoo!