Andy here with a solo review of a movie slightly off the beaten path, The World’s End (R).
The team that brought you Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, director Edgar Wright and stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, all return for one final go-round. This time Pegg plays a late 30s man who brings his high school friends back together for a pub-crawl in their home town. After a few hours they discover that something is amiss with the people in the town they used to know so well.
Pegg, Frost, and Wright captured lightning in a bottle with 2004’s Shaun of the Dead. Three years later, Hot Fuzz proved that it wasn’t just a fluke, as they tackled another genre with even more laughs. The World’s End is not quite on the level of those other two films, but it is still consistently entertaining and funny.
Pegg and Frost go against casting, with Frost playing the everyman and Pegg the wily slacker. Changing this dynamic makes for some pretty fun moments, but does not quite mesh as well as the roles taken in the previous films. Pegg’s character is highly unlikable, but he has enough charisma to make the audience believe that this group of friends would follow him into something stupid.
Without giving away too much, The World’s End has quite a twist about halfway through. When this twist occurs, we are treated to a couple of extended action sequences that could have been tedious. Instead they add a welcome change of pace to the film, and allow the actors some particularly fun moments. This will undoubtedly turn off some viewers, but anyone who has seen the previous two movies in this unofficial trilogy will know what they are getting into.
While The World’s End largely works, it is not without flaws. The second half teeters on the verge of collapsing under its own ridiculousness, and the ending is quite out of control. Pegg’s character is not as endearing as some of his previous roles.
And although the movie has heart, it does not quite hold together as well as the previous two movies this team has made. In the end, anyone who has enjoyed the two previous movies should check this film out as well.
It is not a must-see, but it is strong enough to earn a B.
Final Grade: B