Cinematic Releases: The World's End

The World’s End is the final entry in Edgar Wright’s so-called “Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy” and it definitely ends it on a high note. Wright is known for directing hilarious movies with ridiculous premises while at the same time injecting them with plenty of poignant moments. 

I do think that British humor is an acquired taste for some people. It tends to be quick and on the dry side. This film is very British and that might put off some select audience members but there is enough conventional humor to keep most people interested.  Two of my favorite comedic actors, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, are back together and up to their usual antics. They play off of each other perfectly and the rest of the ensemble cast meshes well with them.

The story follows a group of childhood buddies who in their youth did a pub crawl known as the Golden Mile but were unable to make it to the last pub, The World’s End. Gary King (Simon Pegg) was the de facto leader of the group and gathers everyone up as adults to try to make it all the way to the final pub in one night.  It’s a standard coming-of-age story but with a very interesting twist thrown in.

The film ends up being a blend of several genres but somehow Wright combines all the different parts into a cohesive symphony of awesome.  It is over the top at times but never in a way that takes you out of the story. I was very impressed how seamlessly everything fit together.  However, it does drag a little in some parts and I think some of the idiosyncrasies of British culture will be lost on American audiences. That happens with all foreign films to some degree though.

One character says “How can you tell if you are drunk if you are never sober?”  This is a crucial concept that makes or breaks comedy movies for me and is the trademark of truly great ones.  The World’s End is billed as a comedy movie but parts of it are much more than that.  The characters experience real growth throughout the story and there are some very touching, very real moments.  Life is funny only because other parts of it aren’t. You need the contrast to really appreciate the absence of one or the other and this movie gets it, it really does. Any film that can make you cry tears of laughter and sorrow in the same breath is worth your time.

-Review by Michelle Kisner