The World’s End: I’ll Drink to That
By Sean Molloy
Five old friends, 12 pubs and an army of robots. You read the premise and you might not look twice at Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. In doing so would be a great disservice to yourself in missing one of sharpest movies I’ve seen in a long time. The World’s End is utterly fantastic, it’s a film that can go from making you laugh hysterically to bringing a tear to your eye to question the true meaning of being a person all within a scene. Reading that back sounds ridiculous but I have never written truer words
The story begins with the back story of Gary King, played by the fantastic Simon Pegg, attempting to conquer a legendary pub-crawl in his hometown of Newton Haven. King and friends eventually fail at the Golden Mile but not without first leaving a significant imprint on their lives. To Gary, things never got better in life than that one night thus he plans to recreate it 20 years later. Things quickly go askew as the 5 friends soon realize that the town has been taken over by robots and the way to save everyone is to get to the last pub on the list, the Worlds. End.
Now with this being the third in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy, there is always an underlying message to the ridiculously quick witted script and well thought of action sequences. Shaun of the Dead was all about taking responsibility in life, Hot Fuzz was about your career and its direction, The World’s End is about being able to grow up but never grow old. Gary has never grown past that historic night and has watched all of his friends get jobs, buy houses, get married etc etc. With each interaction of the old gang the sadness of the character really comes out well, due to Simon Pegg’s ability to really portray what is written in the script. Seriously, Pegg needs to be recognized more, the man is so much more than a straight comedy actor. To go opposite Pegg is the other longtime collaborator with Wright is Nick Frost who plays Andy. Andy was the once rugby player and Gary’s best friend who as the film unfolds has his own reasons to hate his former friend. No spoiling details but like the other two films these guys were in it’s a joy watching them work off of each other. Drama is handled with poise, comedy is rewarded with guttural laughs and the action is complete with bar fights to the umpteenth degree. The film also casts the other regulars from “Shaun” and “Fuzz.” Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman all are given their right places in the spotlight, and they are brilliant during it.
What works best about The World’s End however is the deep message beneath it. It asks the questions about growing up at the same time as it asks what does it mean to be a human. The film is at its best when the five men are sitting down just riffing off of each other. The quick humor is balanced with the sci-fi of robots, neither clashing with each other.
At the end of the day The World’s End is one of my favorite movies of the year and is one that begs to be seen multiple times. The conclusion is put together strangely compared to the rest of the film but not so much that this one deserves anything less than the highest marks I give.