Saturday, December 28, 2013

The World's End [A Fat Jesus Movie Review]

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright are a comedy dream team. Ever since Shaun of the Dead, we knew there would be a trilogy to come out of these three guys. It's come to be known as The Cornetto Trilogy, and The World's End is the final installment. Coming off the heels of This Is The End, this was the second big name world ending comedy to come out over the summer. While This Is The End focused on full on outrageous humor, The World's End is a comedy that has more than a few areas of thick, emotional moments. I'd been waiting for this all year and after a couple viewings, it's cemented itself as one of the best comedies of the year.

The World's End follows the story of Gary King (Simon Pegg), a middle aged man and a recovering drug addict. He recants a story of him and his friends attempting The Golden Mile, 20 years earlier. The Golden Mile is a pub crawl covering 12 pubs in Gary's hometown of Newton Haven. Gary, alongside Andy Knightly, Steven Prince, Oliver Chamberlain and Peter Page (Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan) have since grown apart since that night, and Gary is looking to get the gang back together. Not long after beginning the crawl, they are met up with by Oliver's sister Sam (Rosamund Pike), whom Gary and Steven still pine over. The groups ends up at the fourth pub where Gary excuses himself after a disagreement with the group. In the bathroom he encounters an abnormally strong teen, after engaging him in a fight, he kicks his head off exposing him as a robot. The rest of the group come into the bathroom to confront Gary, as does the rest of the group the teen was with. They engage in a fight, and Gary and the rest of the guys, breakdown and beat the robots. Gary, Andy and the rest of the group decide to continue the crawl as to not raise suspicion of what they've done. They end up discovering more than they ever thought possible, as Newton Haven isn't quite how they left it 20 years earlier.

I'm going to split this review into two parts. The more serious aspect of this film and also the more obvious, comedic and Sci-Fi action side of everything going on. Wrapped up in all this comedy, there's a serious movie about addiction and pain going on with the well written character of Gary King. We opened the film with Gary, played amazingly by Simon Pegg, sitting it what looks to be a help group circle, reminiscing about his glory days (doing The Golden Mile for the first time) and remembering the all the hope he had for the future. We get into the meat of the film and he beings lying to his friends, not changing his ways, and generally trying to keep the past alive. By the time we got to the 12th pub, it was revealed that not only did Gary have substance abuse problems, but that he also tried to kill himself. Wrapped up in all the bravado and charisma, Gary King is severely hurting deep down. I think we could all relate to Gary in some way, and I loved the reliability, even on the dark side of things, his character brought to the film. On the flip side this movies also gives a fair amount of hope. How you can be a damaged person, but still be upbeat, still look forward to things and that you're still able to change in yours ways. By the end, Gary discovered, that even when you "mess up" your whole life, there's always that option, whether forced upon you, or a decision you made yourself, for everyone to change. This movie is so well written by Edgar Wright, that amidst one of the funniest film of the year, there's so much emotion behind everything. 

Then we get to the less emotional side of everything in The World's End. Which at times is side splitting and at others you into well choreographed action sequences. The timing between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is impeccable. They work off of each other so well, and it's almost automatic when these two get together. The rest of the cast is fantastic as well. Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan round out an ensemble cast that is all business. Everything from callbacks and puns to fast talking back and forths, these guys know how to deliver a line. There's never a scene, even with all the seriousness, that there's not a one liner or a funny moment. The writing going into everyone, especially Gary King, is top notch. With all the performances being great as well. Edgar Wright did a fantastic job writing this all around, and it's hard not to hail his writing. The Sci-Fi aspect is pretty solid as well. The idea of a otherworldly being sneaking in and assimilating itself into a small town, to start a "takeover" that with ultimately make everything on earth better. More bland and faceless, but better. The ending is a bit wonky admittedly, but it still works overall. Finally, I wanna touch on the odds and end of this movie. The music is great and never detracts, while the action sequences and fighting montages are pretty will done. At just under two hours, it never feels long or draggy, which is always a good thing watching a film.

For me The World's End is easily of one my favorite films of the year. Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright hit another one out of the ballpark. As I've said in twice before in this review the writing is fantastic. The comedy is great and it's accompanied by surprising emotion and a decent Sci-Fi story with fun action. I don't know how much more I can say about this film. The Cornetto Trilogy may be done, but I really hope that Pegg, Frost and Wright get together more in the future. I like comedy and I like movies that are more than one dimensional. In the end, The World's End is just a great movie.

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