Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: The World's End

Release date: August 23, 2013
Running time: 109 minutes
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Martin Freeman
Who to see it with: A fan of Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz


Although it is not a sequel to the previous Edgar Wright movies starring both Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, The World's End has a similar humor and a similar feel. The film follows five high school friends who return to their hometown to finally accomplish something that they failed at in their youth--to have a drink at twelve pubs throughout their town in a single night. However, when they get there, they realize that everything has changed, both figuratively and literally, mostly for the worst. 

Even though you would be forgiven for thinking that the World's End is a superfluous movie with silly drinking humor, if you thought that you'd be wrong. The movie has a pretty involved plot with many twists and turns that keep the audience entertained and guessing throughout the adventure. There are several subtle story lines and hints that are laced throughout the movie which will provide new details for viewers to notice during subsequent watches. And the themes that the movie deals with are much darker and more complex than the previous films; themes like dealing with growing up and disappointment. Of course there are call backs to the previous Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost movies, and any fan of their previous work will be delighted to see these. 

But, there are also plenty of new surprises and wonderful things in this movie. For one, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reverse their normal roles, with Pegg being the screw up and Frost being more straight-laced. It's fun to see this change and it introduces some new aspects to their already stellar on screen chemistry. And that chemistry is enhanced by the supporting cast, many of whom you'll recognize from previous Wright movies or from other British films. And, as with any drinking movie, there are going to be bar brawls, and the fights in the World's End are truly great. The actors did their own fights and choreography, so while the fights are meticulously created and choreographed perfectly, the fighting is less martial artsy and more bar brawl fight. Also, because the actors are fighting, they bring their enjoyable on-camera personalities into it. 

The cinematography is also splendid, with long shots, great camera angles, and wonderful sets. You truly get a sense that the actors and director love their work and it definitely shows through in the final product. And the writing is sharp and funny. The jokes work on multiple levels and references get repeated throughout the movie, helping the audience to follow along and feel like there is a sense of continuity in the story.

The World's End is a really good movie. It has a story that is funny but also deals with darker, more complex themes than you would expect, great acting, funny writing, and some excellent cinematography. It has plenty for fans of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz to enjoy while still being a great movie that new viewers can appreciate. Like any good ale, The World's End is much more complex than it appears and should be enjoyed over and over.

See it.

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