Quick Thoughts on The World’s End

I’ve written about it several times over the last year and a half. The TDYLF banners this week have shifted as a tip of the cap to it. I even drove 6 hours away and spent gobs of money drinking in its honor. But once I finally got to see The World’s End, did I actually like it?


Frost in Pink Hulk mode

-Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are both tremendous in The World’s End, displaying an impressive range. We’ve seen a lot from Pegg through the years but we’ve never seen him play a heartbreaking, emotionally lost character like Gary King. However, he never gives up his standard panache for humor. Frost expertly blends stoicism and reservation as the ultimate sidekick, Andy Knightley. Seeing Frost hulk out, especially, is a treat and it’s something we haven’t really seen him do. Both actors own giant segments of their film, and they saved their best work for last in the Cornetto Trilogy.

-The fight sequences in The World’s End stand out, possessing a unique choreography with just the right dash of humor. I recently saw a review in which Marc Ciafardini of Go, See, Talk referred to it as “Hong Kong styled“, and he’s spot-on.


Hello, Brian

-As a massive fan of Edgar Wright, it was pure joy to see so many Wright alums make appearances. The film features Julia Deakin, Reece Shearsmith, Michael Smiley, and Mark Heap, all from Spaced. Actors from his previous films include Rafe Spall, David Bradley (Game of Thrones fans will love seeing him again), and Bill Nighy. And of course, Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman have major roles.

The World’s End takes more serious, dramatic turns at times in a much heavier way than Wright’s other work. This isn’t bad at all, but it caught me off guard.

-It wouldn’t be a Wright film without a symphony of genres, all stitched together seamlessly. At various times, The World’s End is comedy, science fiction, horror, drama, and pure action.

-The film doesn’t wear its references on its sleeve as much as the first two Cornetto Trilogy films. The funny thing is that nobody would’ve blamed them if they’d made a third film that feverishly tips its cap to other films. It is, after all, part of why those films are so lovable. But now I’m very excited about seeing the direction of the rest of their careers as writers, directors, and actors.

-I saw it in almost perfect environment for the movie to be successful, as part of the full trilogy in a theater filled to the rafters with Cornetto Trilogy fans. After several hours of Shaun and Fuzz, the mood was just right for The World’s End. It also made for a unique viewing in that you could see their skills and abilities grow with each film, jumping from 2003 to 2007 and then finally 2013.


The face of raw humanity

-One element that’s sticking with me is that, like all good sci-fi, it bears social commentary. What makes it so tricky, unique, and fun is that the rebellious, rabble-rousing, troubled Gary King ultimately represents the most raw humanity in the face of boring domestication at the most critical junctures of the film. I won’t say more but you’ll see what I’m talking about when you get around to the film.

-Overall, it’s a film that excels on so many levels. The cast is nearly perfect from top to bottom, the action sequences will have you on the edge of your seat, and hilarious moments abound. I suppose if I had one criticism, it’d be that it’s not as fun as Shaun or Fuzz, but that’s an almost impossible standard. And it’s moot anyway because The World’s End succeeds in ways that the other two don’t.


Filed under Movies

15 responses to “Quick Thoughts on The World’s End

  1. Great write up! I’m really looking forward to seeing this in a few days.

  2. Jim

    Okay, so what I need to know is this – can I take my eleven year old son to it?
    Here’s what you need to know:
    – He reads at a college level and very wise for his age
    – He plays COD, MW3, etc., so violence and language aren’t a big issue – he’s already ruined in those regards
    – Girls, sex, and all of that are still icky and make him uncomfortable, especially in my company. A couple of quick references aren’t a big deal, but running sex jokes or semi-explicit depictions of such stuff would sour the experience
    – I don’t want him to give me shit for having a couple of beers on a Saturday night (I don’t want him calling me “Gary” every time I open a beer)
    – He hasn’t seen Sean of the Dead or Hot Fuzz yet, so any nods to these will be wasted on him

    So there you go. I really want to see this film, but the only way I’m catching it in the theater is by bringing the boy and making an night of it. Otherwise, I’ll wait for on-demand.

    Also, will asking these questions in a public forum exclude me from Father of the Year consideration?

    I’ll hang up and take your comments off the air.

    • -If violence and language aren’t an issue, then you’ve cleared a big barrier. And even the violence all results in… a lot of blue. It’s not blood.

      -Sex really isn’t a factor, so you’re good there.

      -I don’t know his sense of humor but him calling you “Gary” may become a reality. Then again, I think Gary’s painted as someone with problems, and I don’t know that he’d see you in that way. Plus, Gary’s permanently 18 years old and I don’t think he’d see you that way, either.

      -You absolutely do not need to see Shaun/Fuzz to appreciate any part of this movie, other than just knowing who the actors are and what their sense of humor is like.

      -The themes, however, are very adult. Or maybe mature is a better way of looking at it. It’s all about growing up (beyond the 20s, into the 30s and even early 40s), rebellion vs. domestication and the like. How much it sucks to be an adult but how it has to be done anyway. That may be over his head.

      -All in all, I think there’ll be plenty of laughs for him.

      It is rated R, probably because of a bunch of c-bombs.

  3. Nice write up John. I was actually a little disappointed with this. I much preferred the first half when it was just the group of mates getting back together, I thought it lost its way when the invasion thing kicked in.

    • Wow, Chris’ comment above sums up my thoughts perfectly. I’m not as fond of this one as I did w/ the previous two of the Cornetto Trilogy. It’s got some funny scenes but overall it’s a letdown for me 😦

      • I think part of the unfunny was character development. Some of Gary’s early lines are really cringeworthy, but it helps establish him as a scattershot guy with a high schooler’s sense of humor. Or… that’s how I read it, anyway.

    • It definitely got wild there at the end in an off-the-rails way.

  4. That painstaking attention to detail is one of the things that has long separated the Cornetto trilogy from a lot of modern comedy, grounding each entry in reality even as it rattles towards its over-the-top, hilariously violent finale. (It’s called the Cornetto Trilogy by the way, because a different coloured Cornetto wrapper is seen in each film – red, blue, then green – a wink to Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colours trilogy.) Shaun felt like a slacker we’ve all played Xbox with at some stage and the Hot Fuzz buddy-cops were never caricatures; we rooted for them, even feared for them, as they fended off zombies and elderly florists.

  5. aymiebarton

    I completely agree with all of the above, though as a blogger, it is my compulsion to inflict you with my opinion-sorry! Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz are in a completely different league. The Worlds End, despite the genius in the scripting, is as previously said; unfunny. Don’t get me wrong, I did laugh at bits throughout the film but I was expecting a lot more from Pegg and Co. Xx

    • Yeah, it’s definitely not a gut-busting thing like Shaun and Fuzz. TWE is about maturity and it’s sprinkled with humor, whereas the other two are humor sprinkled with other stuff (maturity in Shaun; buddy cop film in Fuzz).

  6. I see some people were less than charmed by The World’s End. I don’t know, I think appreciation for the film will grow with subsequent viewings. I liked Hot Fuzz and Shaun the first time I saw them, but I didn’t love them until I watched them more. I’m expecting TWE to be the same kind of experience. And I really liked it the first time through. There’s always so much going on in these guys’ movies that it’s nearly impossible to appreciate it all in one sitting.

    • Shaun definitely grew on me with subsequent viewings, to the point where I liked it more than ever on the most recent viewing. Fuzz… I fell in love with that one immediately. I could totally see TWE gaining popularity down the line. Already, I’ve read a ton about the King Arthur myth buried in the film (I knew only the surface level), the numerology, some of the various films referenced… It’s got a ton of nuance. It’s just that so much of it isn’t film- it’s legend or literature, which is a bit outside the strike zone of first-time viewers.

  7. Pingback: Month in Review: August | French Toast Sunday

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