REVIEW: The World's End
(Universal Pictures, R13)
The World's End is the third film writer/director Edgar Wright's Cornetto trilogy.
Unlike, say, the two Star Wars trilogies you don't need to have seen either of the prior movies to enjoy The World's End. It's completely unrelated to Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, which also came from Wright's brain, so those who have seen them tell me. The only thing they all have in common is that they start in one genre and finish in another. Something I didn't know when I popped this disc in my Blu-ray player.
The World's End starts off as a sort of road movie, if you can call walking the golden mile a journey. Back in 1990 Gary (Simon Pegg) and his four mates failed to finish a pub crawl in their home village. Now, nearly quarter of a century later, he calls everyone back together to try again. One pint from every pub on the golden mile is the aim of the night, finishing up at The World's End pub.
This is what Saturday nights were often like in Britain, myself and a fellow expat commented, with its vast array of great pubs to choose from. You could socialise and enjoy a quiet pint, as I often did with my pals, or you could get out of your head in a gang, as some of my other pals did. Sometimes our groups met up, since our community was a small one with lots of great pubs.
For a good deal of the movie Wright deals with what it's like to have mates who grow up and apart as they follow their own individual dreams. What it's like to leave home, and everything you know, behind as you head out into the big, wide, world. Everyone except for Gary has moved on since that epic night in 1990.
Then it all changes . . . into an all out apocalypse. To say how and why will spoil it, but it won't surprise fans of Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz to learn of the weird and wacky direction this film takes
For some reason it had me thinking of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, probably because it's that Douglas Adams sort of off the wall.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, bad language aside, for its pure escapism and the way it handled those stereotypes in the gang. The ringleader, his strong right arm who always drove him home, forlorn lover, the nerd and the capitalist.
It reminded me, and my fellow expat, of our pals back in the old country and how far we have drifted from them. It reminded us of thatched cottage pubs, warm fire and talks about Tolkein and Lewis or, more usually, the latest movies. And it reminded us of just how unpredictable a night out could be when you're just 18.
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