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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 21.62%
Just Average: 2.7%
Pretty Crappy: 2.7%
Sucks: 5.41%

4 reviews, 13 user ratings

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World's End, The
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by Jay Seaver

"A heck of a lot more fun than just going out drinking."
5 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2013 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: As excited as I naturally was about the Wright/Pegg/Frost team adding a sci-fi comedy to their excellent body of work, the pub-crawl theme had me rolling my eyes: Watching people get drunk is never actually as much fun as it sounds. Fortunately, it's not all that long before they get to the good stuff, and once that happens, "The World's End" hits its stride and reminds even the skeptics in the audience of just why they might have been looking forward to this combination in the first place.

Gary King (Simon Pegg) figures he had the best night of his life twenty-three years ago when he and four friends attempted an epic pub crawl in their home town (including having sex with one's sister midway through). Now they've all left, and he's looking to get the gang - family man Peter (Eddie Marsan), successful entrepreneur Steven (Paddy Considine), estate agent Oliver (Martin Freeman), and lawyer Andrew (Nick Frost) - back together to try it again. Oliver's sister Sam (Rosamund Pike) even shows up again midway through. But so will something else...

Funny thing about Simon Pegg: Even though he's played a number of characters who have been on the selfish and clueless side, his very public enthusiasm for sci-fi, fantasy, and the like - well beyond the bland talking points other entertainers will trot out when doing interviews for a genre project - him being the one that gets set up as not a likable everyman but the idiot who drags the rest of his friends down still seems to be a bit of a surprise. He dives into it, for better or worse, and initially both at once; the beginning of the movie is almost all Gary being a jerk, and while that one note hits more than a few times, it does get a bit tiring. Still, the way he dives onto gags with enthusiasm, getting more out of them than many other actors playing this part would, camouflages how, while Gary may not be any more complex at the end than he was at the start, he's certainly become a guy for whom the audience feels some interest and affection. It's a broadly funny but sneakily impressive performance.

And it's part of a very nice ensemble. Regular partner-in-crime Nick Frost is there, of course, and he's great as well, strapped-down anger that is always just short of being genuinely unappealing, and for all he's made his career on being sort of loose (even when shocked), he stabs at his jokes here, and proves just as adept playing against type as Pegg. Martin Freeman is also a standout as the most smoothly polished membr of the group, with Paddy Considine nicely lovelorn and Eddie Marsan sneakily good as someone who really makes the five-way banter work. Rosamund Pike is a lot of fun, too, starting as the expected lady who is much more sensible than the guys around her but eventually having some of the funniest reactions to the insanity happening around her.

And when the insanity does start kicking up, it's pretty great. The story is a pretty standard variation on Invasion of the Body Snatchers dressed up with dismemberment effects that hit the bulls-eye in terms of being just the right amount of nasty and silly, and for all that even the characters recognize where the holes in the plot are, they also play the having no better choice but to roll with it quite well. Maybe the direction the script by Pegg & director Edgar Wright takes means they have to go off in every direction at once toward the end, but the string of gags, verbal and physical, along the way is as good as anyone can hope for, and with a strong enough latticework holding it together that every joke and event seems reinforced, rather than just standing out there to succeed or fail on its own.

Plus, for all that he's known as a comedy director, Wright does action as well as anybody. The line between slapstick and sci-fi fighting in this movie is just about nonexistent, and once the blue stuff starts splattering, it's remarkable how many scenes feel like the characters are in a fight that's legitimately dangerous even as most of the blows thrown are actually hilarious. Combine this with how the movie really doesn't let up from that point to the climax, and the last half of The World's End is doubly exhilarating.

And that's why, rough start and all, "The World's End" winds up being a great way to finish up the summer; it's a little bit of everything, almost all of it done quite well indeed. It earns its place alongside fellow "Cornetto Trilogy" movies "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz", and one certainly hopes that Wright, Pegg, and Frost will continue making movies together, even if this loosest of series is complete

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=24452&reviewer=371
originally posted: 08/07/13 14:30:40
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2013 Fantasia International Film Festival For more in the 2013 Fantasia International Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

10/26/14 KingNeutron It was OK, worth the rental but might not be for everybody 3 stars
4/06/14 reptilesni I love this crew, but this movie didn't work at all. 1 stars
2/25/14 Brennan Best Movie of 2013 5 stars
12/06/13 Pearl Bogdan This isnt Shawn of the dead but it was still pretty funny 4 stars
11/22/13 Patricia fun end to the cornetto trilogy 5 stars
10/15/13 Carl A very fun film!!! 5 stars
9/28/13 Frank Robinson Enjoyable in a completely insane sort of way 5 stars
9/22/13 Simon again impressive for making a mish mash of genres work, funny above all 4 stars
9/18/13 Annie G So much fun - makes me want to do a pub crawl w/o aliens. 5 stars
9/05/13 PoetChuck Worst Movie Ever 1 stars
9/02/13 Geraldine Amazing! 5 stars
8/31/13 Bob Dog Better than the average movie, but weaker than the rest of Wright's films. 2 stars
8/23/13 Flipsider Very entertaining! 5 stars
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  23-Aug-2013 (R)
  DVD: 19-Nov-2013

  19-Jul-2013 (15)

  01-Aug-2013 (MA)
  DVD: 19-Nov-2013

Directed by
  Edgar Wright

Written by
  Simon Pegg
  Edgar Wright

  Simon Pegg
  Nick Frost
  Rosamund Pike
  Martin Freeman
  Paddy Considine
  Eddie Marsan

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