The World's End

Year 2013


Simon Pegg   as  Gary King
Nick Frost as Andrew Knightley
Pierce Brosnan as Guy Shepherd
Martin Freeman as Oliver Chamberlain  
Paddy Considine   as Steven Prince
Eddie Marsan as Peter Page
Director - Edgar Wright
Screenwriter - Simon Pegg  
  - Edgar Wright

I keep waiting for the team of Pegg and Wright to come up with something special and coherent. Shaun of the Dead was too derivative. Hot Fuzz was better, but thought allusions could replace humor. Enter The World's End. It's a funny movie and it stands on its own.

For poor Gary King, the best night of his life was a pub crawl about twenty years previous. And even on that night, they didn't finish the crawl. Now in middle age, he wants to go back to his old town and do it right. But you can't go home again and his old town has changed. In fact, it's been taken over by robots. Talk about your cool twists. So, it's a matter of trying to save the world AND finish the pub crawl.

What's a pub crawl? It certainly takes me back. We called them stagger strolls or death marches. Pick a small town. Have a beer in every bar in the town (stagger stroll) or a shot of something in every bar in town (death march) in one day. In the movie there are twelve pubs that must be visited to complete the quest. That doesn't sound like much to me, but that's what the writers decided upon.

So, screw-up Gary King (Pegg) manages to get the gang together again for another shot at completing the crawl. He's managed to anger them over the years and part of what he needs to do is make peace with them. Along the way, he also needs to save the world from aliens. The delivery is as funny as the premise.

The dialog is about as baffling as any exchange between Groucho and Chico Marx.

Steven: Wow! You really have a selective memory, don't you?
Gary: Somebody else was saying that.
Steven: Me.
Gary: No. I would have remembered.

Steven: We need to be able to differentiate between them, them and us.
Peter: Yeah. I think the pronouns are really confusing.
Gary: I don't even know what a pronoun is.
Oliver: Well, it's a word that can function by itself as a noun which refers to something else in the discourse.
Gary: I don't get it.
Andrew: You just used one.
Gary: Did I?
Andrew: It. It's a pronoun.
Gary: What is?
Andrew: It!
Gary: Is it?

Gary Haven't you heard? We're gettin' the band back together!
Steven I'm not your bass player anymore.
Gary I mean we're gettin' the boys back together. We can get the band back together as well if you want.
Steven No, we can't. You sold my guitar to buy drugs.

Most people in the town have been turned into robots and there's a running gag about how the word "robot" is from the Czech word "robotnik" which means slave. But the robots that King and company run into aren't slaves so they're not really robots. (If you want, check out "R.U.R." ("Rossum's Universal Robots") by Karel Capek. It's a play from 1920 where Capek coined the word robot. You can't tell me that Fritz Lang didn't get his idea for the robot in "Metropolis" from anywhere but Capek's play.)

The World's End is wonderfully inane. There's even a nice twist/exposition by Gary King at one point. (Hint: Why would Gary beat his head against a pillar rather than take off his jacket to show a scar on his arm?) And the movie borders on being great until the ending.

The ending is way too over the top. I don't want to spoil the movie for you, so I won't give it away. But, Pegg and Wright like to take chances by taking left turns. In this movie, most of those left turns work. But the ending? That left turn led to a cliff. Still, that's only a few minutes at the end. The rest of the movie, although wacky and being run by rules of physics not seen in this dimension previously, is a lot of fun.

There's no nudity, but there are many, many instances of creative profanity, and way too much blasphemy. There's some chick flick potential. It's worth a watch..

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