Ever since it was announced I've been highly anticipating The World's End, hell at the start of the year I named it my most anticipated film over films like Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness, Kick-Ass 2, Pacific Rim and Elysium. Now it's been released and I can say that my anticipation was worth it, The World's End is a brilliant film and a fitting conclusion to the Three Colours Cornetto Trilogy.
The plot of the film, on the surface is about a group of friends going back to their home town to attempt a pub crawl but finding out that they're in the midst of an alien invasion. However, the film is actually about the temptations of nostalgia and the need to move forwards in life which all the main characters have done, except Gary King. He is a manchild, permanently stuck in the early 90's who thinks that all his life can be fulfilled by completing the Golden Mile. The film shows just how low a person Gary King is and how living in the past has caused him to never fulfill his full potential whilst showing that, even though it can be painful, moving forwards with life is preferable to living in the past. This all ties into the stuff with the alien invasion which shows the need for people to work together and how physically dangerous it is to get stuck in the past.
The film is also incredibly funny with the script by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright providing some brilliantly funny dialogue which will reward repeat viewings. This humour also extends itself to the action scenes which are brilliantly executed and the sight of all these people doing the impressive stunts and fighting is just hilarious in itself. There is also a running gag about the so-called 'Starbucking' of traditional pubs, which is an obvious jab at chain pubs like Wetherspoons which, at the end of the film, really pays off and provides the best example of the type of tone this film is going for.
Another major strength comes through the characters and acting, especially the relationship between Pegg and Frost. Unlike Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Frost is the straight-man and Pegg is the butt of all the jokes. Pegg gives the best performance of his career as Gary, who is probably the most hateful character of the year, constantly using lies and manipulation to get what he wants, caring more about himself that others, unwilling to advance past his teenage years and just an overall unpleasant person and Pegg relishes the role, providing Gary with a really unlikable quality but with enough charm that you can understand why all these people follow him. Frost meanwhile is great as the straight-man, completely different from any previous role and his interaction with Pegg is the best of the series simply because of the role reversal and you can see that there is a really horrible past between the characters that caused the relationship to turn so sour. Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan do great work as Oliver and Peter providing some great comedic elements but out of the friends the obvious standout is Paddy Considine who provides the real heart of the film, especially with his interaction with Rosamund Pike, who is also great as Sam, one of the best female characters in recent years and the only sensible person in the film. There are also a lot of really fun cameos by the cream of British talent including Reece Sheersmith, Michael Smiley, Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Darren Boyd, David Bradley and even a little Spaced reunion with Mark Heap and Julia Deakin. Those aren't even all the cameos, there are some which are really great surprises and are really funny.
On a technical side the film is excellent. Edgar Wright really puts the big-budget experience he gained in Scott Pilgrim to use to create the best looking film out of the trilogy, but the film never loses it's unique Britishness which is present through the brilliant jokes. The action scenes are a particular technical highlight, along with the great cinematography and excellent music choices with one of the songs actually becoming a major plot point by the end of the film.
Overall, The World's End is excellent and the perfect way for the Three Colours Cornetto series to end. The brilliant direction and script, coupled with career best performances by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost make it a joy to watch and it will definitely be one of the big films to re-watch to catch all the subtle jokes in the same way as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. This is the comedy event of the year and I highly recommend seeing it.
My Rating: 5/5