The Cornetto Trilogy‘s final installment, The World’s End, is, fittingly, the most mature of the series. In terms of supercharged editing, it’s somewhere between Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz; but, unlike those other two, World’s End isn’t a parody of another (sub)genre. It’s a story all its own.
Simon Pegg plays Gary King, a selfish, nostalgic man-child who convinces his more successful, now-adult childhood friends to come back to their hometown of Newton Haven to complete the Golden Mile, a pub crawl they failed to finish after graduating high school. But the town (and its pubs) aren’t quite the way Gary and his friends left them, and the changes aren’t all due to redevelopment initiatives…
Gary King is a fascinating protagonist. There’s a vulnerability about his character that stops him from being utterly unredeemable, even when he is at his most impulsive and irresponsible. A good chunk of the film’s comedy is derived from Gary’s general ignorance and bad case of foot-in-mouth disease, along with the contrast between his childlike behavior and the crumbling tolerance of his more adult friends. As the film progresses, however, and the central characters become more and more inebriated, that gap in intelligence and maturity between Gary and his friends is closed, resulting in both additional hilarious situations and a good deal of character revelation and development.
On a technical level, World’s End is a perfect ten; on a story-crafting level, it’s at least a nine. My one complain is that the only woman given more than five minutes of screen time in the whole cast serves, of course, as the love interest to be fought over by Gary and one of the other male characters. I say “of course” because men fighting over a woman is something that happened in Shaun of the Dead and is the entire point of Scott Pilgrim, another film directed by Edgar Wright. Therefore, it’s slightly upsetting that, while Wright’s technical skills as both a storyteller and director have improved, his methods for incorporating women into a story don’t seem to have evolved since 2004. That being said, this is a great sci fi film that I recommend to anyone old enough to watch it.
The World’s End is not available to stream on Netflix. Aside from requesting the DVD through their site, you can also rent or buy a digital copy from iTunes and Amazon or just splurge on the Blu Ray edition of the full trilogy. (Cover photo abducted from Den of Geek.)