5 out of 10

Release Date: 17th July 2013

Director: Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World / Hot Fuzz / Shaun Of The Dead / A Fistful Of Fingers)

Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike and Pierce Brosnan with David Bradley, Steve Oram, Michael Smiley, Reece Shearsmith, Nicholas Burns, Mark Heap, Alice Lowe, Rafe Spall, Julia Deakin, Mark Kempner and Bill Nighy (voice)

Writer: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost & Edgar Wright


the_worlds_end_posterI was disappointed. But only with the first half. I really do think that Simon Pegg (STAR TREK) should make the full time move to Hollywood now.  I’m sure he’s lost touch with the man on the street, this enabled him, Nick Frost (ATTACK THE BLOCK) and director Edgar Wright to invest a truly human and identifiably English touch to their first two; Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz.  It’s like bands who come up from the streets and make something vital and raw that speaks and reflects our lives with a classic LP. The second LP is tough but probably has enough of the rejected material from the first LP to scoop up and build something almost as good yet with a bigger budget. The trouble is, then along comes the tours, the solo projects, the wives, the sponsorship deals, the entourages, the millionaire friends. By the time the third LP comes out, said band have almost lost touch with their roots. What do they sing about? They think they know what its like to be a regular bloke and sing about things we can all identify with but it all rings hollow. Millionaires only talk to other millionaires you see. So tricky third LP… What do you do? You turn to what’s in the newspapers to see whats happening back down there at street level and try to find an angle or a way to find your old voice, a way back to your fans.

And that’s where we find The World’s End. All three have been in a Hollywood film at least once, Wright has directed the very shit Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, and worked with people at the top of the Hollywood food chain. Now, it’s back to finish the Cornetto Trilogy for the baying fans.  Now if I sound like I didn’t enjoy it that would be wrong. I did however truly hate Simon Pegg’s Gary King, and if you can’t stand the main character, you’re in trouble, but at least he has a character. I truly hated the first half too and the set-up. There was no emotion and the film just seemed to go through the motions.  The whole exercise felt a bit dead behind the eyes like ‘The Blanks’ themselves.  Poor Martin Freeman (THE HOBBIT) and Paddy Considine (NOW IS GOOD) aren’t even filled in with any depth. They are just there to fill out the numbers. The set-up just runs along at a dead eyed clip for forty minutes until the arrival of “The Blanks”.  I usually have a lot of patience for talky films but for once when the action kicked in I was relieved and actually began to enjoy myself. That’s about the same time the funny lines were broke out. So, in short The World’s End is very much a film of two halves.

Nick Frost has never been better in a lead role which seems like the role he was born to play, his portrayal of a  pent up ball of anger turned berzerker has long been overdue. Eddie Marsan (HAPPY GO LUCKY) is also very good as the put upon, gentle member of the group. Outside of Frost and Pegg, he’s the only person given some shade and background. Its a nice change to see him play a different kind of role to his rabid gallery of nut jobs. The other lead role goes to Rosamund Pike (AN EDUCATION) as Gary King’s old fling.  She’s OK, but there’s not an awful lot for any of the characters to do except for run and fight.

‘The Blanks’ themselves are an amusing creation. Initially, appearances are misleading because we think they are replacing humans ‘Invasion Of The Body Snatchers‘-style. But they are actually in Letchworth to co-exist with humanity by taking over remote and random towns gradually ruling by stealth, like They Live.  Obviously, Gary King and his five pals try to thwart with this fiendish plan whilst completing a pub crawl that they started years before.  Gary’s desire to complete this run at any cost is the main plot thrust as it was the best day of his life, yet almost forgotten by most of his gang as the night something altogether darker happened. Anytime, deeper emotions began to halt the action, alarm bells began to ring again. Any attempts at realism were mawkish and fake. The action plotting and stunts and SFX are The World’s End‘s main strengths. As with Hot Fuzz and Shaun Of The Dead there’s still fun to had cameo spotting. And outside of Cate Blanchett‘s walk on in Hot Fuzz, Wright and co. have lassoed one of the world’s biggest film stars in for an extended cameo, there’s also room for lots of old friends from Spaced and Ben Wheatley‘s small rep company.

So I’ll have to chalk this us as a miss, because I loved Wright & co. for their effortless take on British life and they’ve lost their touch in that department (beyond a few pokes at identikit High Streets).  They’ve definitely been out of the loop too long.  That’s why I liked Paul, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost‘s American sci-fi action comedy, because it was a good transition and perhaps a more apt trilogy capper than The World’s End which is all flash and no heart. Paul was funnier and had a lot of heart like Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz.  The boys have come along way since Spaced, but its time to be movie stars boys and also time to stop trying to be down with the kids. You’re not one of us anymore. But big deal, we’ll always have Spaced.

5 out of 10 – Enjoyable action but a woeful and dead-eyed first half which recycles a lot of old jokes that fall flat.  I am looking forward to Nick Frost‘s solo lead Cuban Fury, which may well contain all the good stuff that was awol here.  Disappointing but no tragedy considering that Hot Fuzz, Shaun Of The Dead and even Paul was such a hard act to follow.



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