“The World’s End” is the third piece of a loosely related series of films known as the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy.
The English duo of actor and comedian Simon Pegg with writer and director Edgar Wright continues their long collaboration with this follow up to the first two films in the trilogy, 2004’s “Shaun of the Dead” and 2007’s “Hot Fuzz.”
As in the preceding films, Pegg’s main co-star is long-time friend Nick Frost.
“The World’s End” follows a group of friends on a pub-crawl turned epic fight for survival.
Pegg plays Gary King, the ne’er-do-well leader of the group, who gathers his childhood friends together for a trip back to their hometown to attempt the Golden Mile, a pub-crawl across 12 bars.
However, it soon becomes apparent that something is amiss. As it so happens, their old town has been taken over by alien robots.
The group decides the safest bet is to continue their pub-crawl as if nothing is wrong in hopes that if the robots don’t realize they know, they will be safe.
Naturally, hijinks ensue.
The pub-crawl then takes a turn for the dangerous as the robots use violence to keep hold of the town.
The fight sequences that result are nothing short of awesome.
After the great success of “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” it’s hard to imagine the pressure on Pegg and Wright in making “The World’s End.”
This pressure shows — if only a little.
The film drags on toward the end and is a bit sloppy in its resolution. The ending is the definition of random, not to mention more than a little depressing.
However, with the excellent cast, everyone plays off each other impeccably, and the script makes up for the lapse in the plotline.
The Gary King character is so selfish and awful that audiences should hate him, yet Pegg makes him surprisingly sympathetic.
A definite highlight is Pierce Brosnan’s cameo as the laughably sophisticated and vaguely creepy schoolteacher from the friends’ school days.
The film even gets unexpectedly deep. On the cusp of the climax, Gary and Andy deal with the nature of alcoholism, addiction and forgiveness.
This surprising amount of heart gives another layer to the movie, pushing “The World’s End” from a simple apocalyptic-comedy into a truly well rounded film.
Rating: 4/5 stars