on 26 July 2014
I can't help but love Simon Pegg & Nick Frost films - Shaun of the dead is genius - and this doesn't fail to entertain. For once Nick Frost isn't the 'dumb but loveable' best friend and actually gets to act a little more. But this is still a Pegg/Frost film so you can expect plenty of boy humour and action. Plus some rather decent cameos from well known faces.
Five childhood friends , instigated by Gary King (Pegg) are roped into reliving their youth by completing the "Golden Mile" pub crawl of 12 drinking establishments in their old home Town of Newton Haven, that they never managed to complete when 18. As past grudges re-surface, they have to try & settle their differences when they stumble across a terrible & horrifying secret.
Overall, The Worlds End has some genuine comedy moments & well worked in ideas, but apart from the fresh, neat introduction of what they are up against, it just felt like i'd seen this movie before. And that's because it's essentially a combination of Shaun of the Dead &Hot Fuzz with a new surprise twist. The film was carried with two key performances, Simon Pegg's immature, sarcastic & never admits he's wrong Gary King, whose the energetic life of the party. Contrasted perfectly with Nick Frost's more mature & solemn outlook on life, Andy Knightley. Truth be told the other characters were a bit forgettable and just tagging along for the ride.
The build up with these old mates forced to reunite was enjoyable itself, right up to the surprise reveal, that was so out of place & bizarre, it was a very enjoyable scene turning things on it's head. However the aftermath didn't quite capitalize on it, as the gags dried up, and it turned into a series of chases resulting in action fight sequences as the film went into a brawl. But it had good direction with neat special effects & cinematography/choreography. I guess the kicker was that i never cared or felt concern for any of them or the outcome, which was just as well as the end face off confrontation seemed to be confusing & just fizzled out in a blaze of CGI glory. Co-stars of note, Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) , Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher) & a cameo appearance by Pierce Brosnan (James Bond).
In conclusion, The Worlds End has some nice ideas in it & the premise has a nice twist, but by the mid way point it had played all it's cards on the table, and gradually lost our interest. Contains strong language, violence & mature themes. Worth a watch.
on 23 August 2014
I think my age puts me dead smack in the middle of the demographic for who this movie would be good for. All the nostalgia elements were right on the nose for me and so I laughed a lot (mostly in the first half). It is inevitably an older team making this than made the previous movies and yes they have lost some of their edginess, but for a bit of a romp it was great. I found some of the action sequences hilarious, although I do admit the endless bashing of empty shells that no one placed any value on got dull. I think it is one of those movies where if you had high expectations and were paying for an expensive blu ray or premium cinema tickets it may be a bit of a disappointment, but if you want a cheap laugh on a night in it is great (with caveats about the end sequence which may be best just entirely ignored). Solid cast although with some of them it did feel like they had been written in to give a mate something to do. (almost talked my self down to 3 stars so will end there).
Decided it should be 3 stars, 4 stars may be misleading considering how little the 2nd half of the film held my attention.
on 26 December 2013
From send-ups of zombie and buddy cop films, Pegg and Frost now tackle the sci-fi genre, although this is not obvious at the outset. At the beginning Pegg's character Gary King is a depressed alcoholic with no future, trying to rekindle past glory by attempting a mammoth pub crawl that defeated his teenage self. On paper there's a great cast for his school friends including Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan.
Central to the film is the character of King, who unlike previous Characters Shaun and Nicholas Angel is not that likeable. He has little ambition, he's self-centred, no one can argue with him and he has the same clapped out car; a boy trapped in a man's body. There is potential for conflict with his more successful friends who have families and jobs and this is explored until their night out becomes more of a challenge.
Similar to the sort of encounters in Shaun of the Dead, their foes are now face-grabbing robots whose limbs make a satisfying pop as they snap off and their heads sometimes shatter like porcelain, spraying a thick blue blood all over the place. From this point on the exploration of character is thrown out of the window and it's more about pub brawls, spilt pints and Frost's character proving he's actually good at fighting.
Unfortunately for a comedy, it isn't that funny. I laughed occasionally and smiled at some of the other jokes but it felt like it worked better as a slightly odd drama with actors you liked. In fact there were one or two quite poignant moments where Pegg's character elicited sympathy, where his behaviour is explained. These didn't help the comedy, but added a bit of depth to the story.
For fans of the previous two films there are some nice references, like them crashing over a low hedge and wooden fence. And like Hot Fuzz the world they enter is one where there is a larger picture, where someone else is trying to control them and they have to fight their way out.
Overall it is perhaps the weakest of the Cornetto Trilogy for being less funny. On the plus side the film is very well shot, with some of the director's trademark close-ups of action and fast cuts. It has a great soundtrack of music from their youth and the setup of the pub crawl that King is determined to finish works well to bind the story together. For fans of Pegg and Frost you should see it, but anyone else might be disappointed.
on 24 July 2013
Five pre-middle-aged male friends are drawn to Newton Haven, the site of their failed dozen-pub crawl as students in 1990. They're led by Gary King (Simon Pegg). He's the one who couldn't move on from that night; couldn't get a job like them, or get married like them. Reluctant revelry and bad-tempered banter ensues, before the gang discovers that the residents of the town have changed. That is, they have BEEN changed...
The World's End is considerably better than the ostensibly similar This Is The End, a super-indulgent American comedy which mistook f-bombs for humour and name-dropping for satire. Edgar Wright's film is indulgent also, but at the service of audience enjoyment, as opposed to the enjoyment of the players. The script is surprisingly dense and intricate, many of its jokes arriving bittersweet. In an era when so many comedies are heavily (and lazily) improvised, it's refreshing to watch a tightly woven story unfold for once.
The action scenes are given equal attention, lovingly choreographed like some kind of slapstick dance. Chief pugilist is Andrew, our sort-of-hero, played by Nick Frost with remarkable agility. This instalment is far less bloodthirsty than its predecessors - more Scott Pilgrim than Shaun.
The rest of the group is made up of Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, and Martin Freeman. The performances are all top-drawer, although it takes time for their individual personalities to emerge. But then, the fact that they are now practically indistinguishable may be the point - for all their disapproval of Gary, they are the ones playing it safe.
What's most impressive about The World's End is the fact that it's actually about something. Nostalgia is easy to indulge but difficult to deconstruct, but this film genuinely aspires to explore the idea of selective memory - as with a bad hangover, our memories tends to return in subjective spasms, and the truth is only accessible by gathering multiple witnesses. And the truth isn't always what it cracked up to be.
The World's End is, for me, the best of the "Cornetto Trilogy". Highly recommended.
on 26 November 2013
Don't get me wrong, World's End isn't a bad film, it's brilliantly filmed, well acted and funny in places, it's just you get a sense of deja vu watching it.
I know a lot of Wright and Pegg's work has revolved around comedic homage to other popular culture references but they are ripping them selves off dreadfully here. The central premise is lifted straight from Sean of The Dead only with robots instead of zombies, the subtext is lifted straight from Hot Fuzz (strange underground movement trying to retain the niceness of an otherwise arse end of nowhere location using somewhat unpleasant means) and the unnecessarily gratuitous swearing is lifted straight out of Paul. Even Pegg's character is a less likeable version of Tim Bisley from Spaced. Possibly, after 15 years, it's just run it's course. Sean Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz set the bar incredibly high but transparently rehashing old ideas does smack of a creative block.
I'd hate to think that with Pegg getting increasingly bigger parts elsewhere, he's losing interest in his own work.
on 6 January 2016
Not a patch on previous Simon Pegg films, his character was the boorish idiot we've all met in school, college and have thankfully left behind many years ago. Not at all enjoyable for the first 30 minutes - maybe it got better after this but we gave up at that point.
After the relatively disappointing 'Hot Fuzz', 'The World's End' brings the Cornetto Trilogy to a fitting end. This is a denser, perhaps more serious story, for all its robot humanoids and superbly choreographed fights; characters have proper backstories beyond the school pals reunion set-up and even the alien-takeover plot is less one-dimensional than you'd expect. Edgar Wright's direction has matured too. Sure he still uses his arsenal of visual tricks, but in a much more contained way than in 'Shaun of the Dead' or 'Hot Fuzz'.
The Blu-Ray has an astonishing amount of extras in terms of features (nearly all of which are comprehensive and, more importantly, interesting!) and the commentary is everything you'd expect.
'Shaun of the Dead', however, remains this team's crowning glory, in my view. I might admire the maturity that Pegg, Frost & Wright have attained here, but the first film has a unique energy borne out of the experiences of 'Spaced' that means it never outstays its welcome and makes it endlessly re-watchable.
on 17 October 2014
Rubbish from start to finish, well thats not strictly true as I couldn't endure this tripe until the end as I switched off early.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost have made some good films in the past, but this is the worst of them all, and tbh these guys need to come up with something better than this if they want to continue making films.
on 31 August 2014
Not as good and genius as the first 2 masterpieces of Pegg and Frost, it's nonetheless a funny story, which keep you attention down to the end but still the whole unfolding of the story does not look so well conducted and brilliant as the previous 2.
Some very smart funny scenes that vaguely remind you of what they did before this film.
And too bad that the very ending (not the pre-ending, quite funny and unpredictable) is not worth the wait.