In the final installment of director Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost return as beer guzzling buddies battling alien robots.
Review by David Feltman
“I just punched my wedding ring out of a robot’s tummy.”
In the final installment of director Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost return as beer guzzling buddies battling alien robots. But, like the films that preceded it, “The World’s End” is not content to coast on mere spectacle. To give his kung fu fighting alien robot movie a little depth, Wright, albeit not so subtly, dwells on themes of willfully arrested development.
As the titular Shaun of “Shaun of the Dead,” Pegg played a monotonous loser afraid of change, but his Gary King is manically kinetic. Pegg plays a man-child who spends most of his time clinging to his past, right down to his clothes and car. He reunites his high school chums to reattempt an epic pub-crawl in their hometown…a hometown now populated by malevolent Martian machines. Pegg’s every mannerism, manipulation and selective memory betrays a man trying to recreate a past that never existed. He isn’t lazily complacent; he actively seeks to remanufacture his salad days.
Wright takes his time building his characters and establishing relationships, waiting nearly 40 minutes before trotting out his first blue goo-filled invader. While fans will no doubt be anxious to see Pegg and Frost comically smashing heads, Wright wisely delays the action not only to build anticipation, but so the audience will care about the characters. There are buckets of bar brawls, car chases and explosions in the latter half of the film. But Wright never lets the explosions drown out the characters.
Wright’s general motif can be a heavy handed at times and the climax is rather lamely resolved with an incoherent “Free to be Stupid” speech, but “The World’s End” is high-octane sci-fi fun, and a satisfying conclusion to the Cornetto Trilogy. Fans won’t be disappointed.