Thoughts on The World’s End

August has been largely uneventful.  I didn’t even get out to the Regatta this year since I was working on thesis.  I wrangled groomsmen into tux fittings.  I bought a tux for myself.  I tracked down responses to wedding invites.  I think I saw a few movies, but I most definitely saw one: The World’s End.

This latest outing from director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) completes the spiritual pseudo-trilogy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, this time joined by an impressive cast that includes Martin Freeman (of Hobbit and Sherlock fame) among many others.  And, like its predecessors, it is a comedy that is also surprisingly heartfelt, dark, and bleak.

The basic premise is that burnout Gary King (Pegg) manages to convince four old friends (long since grown apart) to reunite in their hometown to try and finish the legendary “Golden Mile” pub crawl that they had failed to complete in their youth.  As you might imagine, this doesn’t go well.

The realization that their hometown has forgotten the “legendary” Gary King was already hitting hard when the more science fictional elements of the plot kicked into high gear, and Wright managed to deftly weave the two threads together throughout the remainder of the movie.  As with Shaun and Hot Fuzz, many elements of the plot are rife with cliche and tropes of the chosen genre, and, as in those two movies, it is the parallel arc of the characters that lifts the movie above being cheap parody.

I would be hard-pressed to rank The World’s End against its predecessors or Wright’s other work (Scott Pilgrim!), but if  you enjoyed them I’m pretty sure you will enjoy this one.

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