Film Review: WORLD’S END

Directed by: Edgar Wright
Written by: Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike

This film comes from the team of Wright and Pegg, who began their trilogy of English men v. otherworldly visitors with SHAUN OF THE DEAD in 2004, followed by HOT FUZZ in 2007. All three poke fun at English life, the propensity of men to drink, American movies, the marginalization of women in the lives of blue-collar men, and numerous other institutions.

In WORLD’S END, four men are reluctantly persuaded by the fifth to finish a chore they set for themselves (but failed to complete) at age eighteen: visit twelve pubs in the course of a night, enjoying a pint at each one. Twenty years on and four of these men have settled into middle-class life. But the idea of revisiting their childhood village and finishing what they started wins them over.
One by one, they turn up in their native village and begin a night that ends in chaos as anyone who has seen the first two movies will expect. This is what we come to see, of course. And the first half of this movie was terrific: funny, witty, insightful about aging boy-men. It’s a great concept piece, but like HOT FUZZ, at some point, the movie plunged willy-nilly down two wrong avenues: science fiction that is never developed enough to make sense and a mouthy lecture on life on earth. There are far too many scenes of mayhem with blue blood and decapitated heads in every one—couldn’t they have come up with a more varied fight script? And a film like WORLD’S END should wrap at ninety-five minutes. The audience didn’t need a “where are they now” segment following endless philosophical pondering. Or at least, I didn’t.

This may not be a film intended for me—I know it isn’t, in fact. I loved SHAUN OF THE DEAD but those nine years may have jaded me. If you are a great fan of the first two, you will want to see this and finish it out.

Patti Abbott