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Reviews » Theatrical Reviews » The World's End
The World's End
Focus Features // R // August 23, 2013
Review by Jeff Nelson | posted August 22, 2013 | E-mail the Author
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It takes a lot more skill to make a comedy than one might suspect. Writer/director Edgar Wright has proven himself as a highly talented filmmaker within this genre. After being incredibly successful with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, he wanted to put an end to this trilogy with his take on another category. Not only did writer/actor Simon Pegg star as the lead in each of these movies, but he co-wrote each one of them. Back in 2010, Wright wrote and directed Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, which was much better than expected. Needles to say, I have been extremely excited to see his newest film The World's End, and fortunately, it's just as great as anticipated.

Twenty years after attempting an epic pub crawl, Gary King (Simon Pegg) is emotionally in shambles. He doesn't have any friends, and he's disappointed with how terrible his life has been after that drunken night with his friends. Gary decides to get back in touch with Andy (Nick Frost), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Peter (Eddie Marsan) in order to head back to their hometown to do the crawl in its entirety by reaching the World's End. He's willing to do whatever it takes, so that he can feel some form of accomplishment in his life. Drama quickly begins to ensue, but they realize that the fate of humankind rests in the balance of this drunken night.

One of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's strengths is that they understood what this movie would be from the start, and they executed accordingly. The plot begins by exploring the past of this group of friends, and we progressively learn more about what made them go their separate ways. Gary begins to recruit them one by one, but they all have similar reactions to his presence. Wright and Pegg provide quite a large amount of funny material from the very beginning. The characters themselves aren't very dynamic, but they successfully deliver the laughs. The friendships within this group are entirely convincing and the comedy bounces very naturally from one line of dialogue to the next. There's a fair amount of slapstick and whatnot, but none of it comes across as being tacky. An unusual amount of comedies generally become repetitive and can't sustain the laughs, but that isn't an issue with The World's End. Each role provides a slightly different sense of humor, allowing for a variety of jokes. Wright and Pegg haven't lost their touch!

However, this motion picture isn't only about the laughs. There's a dramatic aspect, which works surprisingly well. The filmmakers have ensured that the drama doesn't negatively affect the pacing by balancing it with the gags. As I previously mentioned, the characters don't have much to them, but Gary King is clearly the most dynamic. He's an older gentleman who seemingly never grew up from his high school days, but there's more to him than one would notice from a glance. The tone transitions are better than expected, as the drama and the comedy flow very nicely. Even though this is an apocalyptic tale, that doesn't necessarily mean that it won't have you genuinely feeling for the leads, while still laughing. This balances the sillier science fiction aspects of the feature, making it somehow feel more cohesive. The World's End is never afraid to cross genre boundaries and exceed your expectations.

The apocalyptic portion of the story is scattered throughout, but it doesn't entirely show itself until the final act. The World's End is pretty violent, but not in the way that most people will be expecting. This group of friends create quite a bit of carnage when they fight the "robots," leaving a trail of blue-ink colored blood from one pub to the next. However, the film truly displays its science fiction roots during the end, in which we discover what's truly going on in their hometown. The consequences against the human race are a lot more severe than they ever could have imagined. The screenplay itself works incredibly well for this feature, as it entertains from start to finish. This is some of the most fun you'll have at the cinema this summer. If you're a fan of British filmmaking and you want to have an exciting time, then you'll surely have a great experience with Edgar Wright's newest motion picture.

Since this is the third entry in the trilogy, the director has brought back a lot of the same actors. Not only did Simon Pegg co-write the screenplay, but he also plays Gary King. He's absolutely exceptional in this role, as he delivers a huge amount of laughs. He's incredibly genuine in this character, as I can't imagine any other actor in this role. Nick Frost is just as great as Andy Knightley, who is seemingly the most level-headed man in the group. His performance is quite reserved until chaos begins to ensue, which is when he truly breaks into the role. Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan perform as the remainder of this group of friends in an excellent fashion. These were perfect casting decisions, as they are very genuine on screen. The comedic and dramatic energy ping-pongs from one actor to the next in a wonderful way.

The World's End couldn't be the apocalyptic flick that it desires to be without having a strong set of visuals. While this isn't the primary focus, writer/director Edgar Wright knows when to boast his visual style. The camerawork and the overall atmosphere is very similar to his previous motion pictures, which creates a link between each feature of the trilogy. Once the action sequences begin, the CG work is entirely fitting. The soundtrack is quite impressive, as it certainly immerses its viewers into this world. It has some excellent subtleties, as well as its moments where it can be considered an assault on the ears. Visually, this is a very successful feature.

Even with high expectations, Edgar Writer's newest film still managed to impress. It's fun, hilarious, yet still manages to have its genuine moments. Not only is this a great way to end the trilogy, but it's an outstanding close to the summer season of filmmaking. This is some of the most fun I've had at the cinema this summer, and I will surely be seeing it again once it hits theaters. The comedy is great, the drama is balanced, and the interactions are more genuine than one would expect. The World's End is one hell of a time at the cinema. I'll drink to that!

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