The trio of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost has been somewhat quietly going about Hollywood the past few years and inserting some of the best comedies out there with entries such as Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead. Their perfect mix of humor with that hint of heart has made for not only extremely fulfilling stories but also laugh out loud moments. But what separates these films from the usual mainstream comedy is the attention to detail both with the directing by Wright, the writing by Wright and Pegg, and the acting by the all around cast. The World’s End is no different and just adds to the fantastic Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy with a fitting ending.
The World’s End follows Gary King (Pegg), a man trying to hold onto the greatness of the past by getting the band back together to take on the challenge that got away, the Golden Mile pub crawl. His band includes Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven, (Paddy Considine), Peter (Eddie Marsan), and Andy (Frost) who all take time away from their established lives to indulge Gary in this fantasy trip of his.
Much like the other two features, things open up quietly. The drama of the story mainly is dealing with Gary and his need to recreate the night just as it was back when they were in college and the reluctance of the others to break from their mature forms and stoop down to his level. Also entered into the mix is an old crush of both Gary and Steven, Sam (Rosamund Pike), who is also Oliver’s sister and in town to see friends as well. Once drinks start going down and they come in contact with more people, the group starts to realize that something is off about the townspeople.
This turn sets up for a somewhat mix of both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. It uses the twisted town storyline from Fuzz but adds in the last survivors tactic that took over the story in Shaun of the Dead. I found this to be a quiet homage to the other films but also showing Wright’s skill to build off of them and up the scale. While Shaun did a fantastic job of giving us a large scale for a small budget film with all of the zombies, World’s End busts that scale open even more and adds the twist plot into it.
I found the laughs to be just as consistent as ever and they managed to keep that heart element in without letting it completely control the story. It was important don’t get me wrong but it never felt like it took over the story, instead it was used to build the characters while the humor showed off their personalities. I loved how each had their own little brand of humor throughout. Pegg was more vulgar and raunchy while Freeman was reserved and kind of the nerd you giggled at. Frost was refrained but began to let loose and throw out some great lines while Considine tried to stay level headed and lead. Marsan surprised me as the one who made me laugh the majority of the time as the side character that steals some spots due to impeccable timing and quick one-liners you have to catch to get.
In the end, the heart and humor was very well balanced and showed again that the trio knows exactly what they’re doing and can craft a superb comedy. While I was a little disappointed with the lack of cameos, it still was a satisfying conclusion to this trilogy. If I had to pick one issue with it, it would be with the length. The film stretched a little too long and while it detract from the film, it could’ve been wrapped up sooner.
The World’s End is heartfelt, humorous, and a triumph for comedy. It is a welcome return by the Cornetto trio and something you’ll have to go see. Let’s hope this isn’t the end of those three giving us films because they continue to blow us away with them.