Film Of The Week: THE WORLD'S END (2013)

Director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunite for a third film following the successes "Shaun of the Dead" (2004) and "Hot Fuzz" (2007). In "The World's End," 20 years after attempting an epic pub crawl, five childhood friends reunite when one of them becomes hellbent on trying the drinking marathon again. They are convinced to stage an encore by Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-year-old man trapped at the cigarette end of his teens, who drags his reluctant pals to their hometown and once again attempts to reach the fabled pub – The World's End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present, they realize the real struggle is for the future, not just theirs but humankind's. Reaching The World's End is the least of their worries.

The World's End was my first experience watching any of the "Three-Flavors Cornetto Trilogy" movies on the big screen. Actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost make a great pairing on the projects they share, and with Edgar Wright at the helm, they bring nothing more than one memorable cinematic experience after another.

Simon Pegg plays Gary King, narrating the epic tale that began with the early lives four fellow friends, Andy (Nick Frost), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Peter (Eddie Marsan), as they endure thru school and typical adolescence in the years leading up to the night they decide to take on the Golden Mile: 12 pubs and 60 pints in one life-changing night all the way to the last drink at the last stop, "The World's End". Failing to withstand a night loaded with drunken, twisted, restless roaming, they quit just several pubs before reaching their goal, and for Gary, a life of endless youth and optimism is instantly replaced with thoughts of loss and regret, and memories he would rather do away with.

Twenty years later and frustrated by not finishing the Golden Mile and completing the one goal he internalized as the start of his life as of then, Gary gets the entire group back together, with a few who are reluctant to join, including Andy. They meet up back in their old town of New Haven and begin their journey almost immediately, bumping into Oliver's sister, Sam (Rosamund Pike), Gary's old drug dealer Reverend Green (Michael Smiley) and old man Basil (David Bradley). But things have changed since they were teenagers, and amidst their flailing sobriety they make a shocking discovery that leaves them fighting for their very lives, against an entire town that has been mostly replaced by alien robots.

Soon enough, the action heats up and the laughs get harder as the ultimate confrontation of lingering past regrets and adolescent hearbreak turns into a last ditch, drunken effort to stop an alien invasion, with seemingly no other alternative but to stay on The Golden Mile and get to The World's End, no matter what it takes.

Wright delivered another classic here, yet again with memorable characters illustrating true and wholehearted reflections of human emotions and thoughts one tends to ramble through in the course of life. The film deals with friendship, unrequited love, forgiveness, mild tragedy and dark humor, and messages that speak to a meaning of life that people often still question while pursuing their own individuality and freedom. And to ornament it all, a sweet, glaringly hilarious and thrilling science fiction narrative that doesn't delve enough into the origins of the paranormal presence in the film, but packs a wallop with stimulating fight sequences tailor-made for this amazing cast, thanks to stunt coordinator Brad Allan. The fights were inventive, fluid and exhibited the comedic appeal that highlights Allan's stellar career as a former member of the Jackie Chan Stunt Team. The most notable and memorable action scenes took place in a backyard with twins, actresses Francesca and Charlotte Reidie, and in other scenes throughout the film where Frost is entirely immersed in his character's element and goes complete Donkey Kong with every robot in sight. It's awesome and it has to be seen to believed.

The World's End is a combination of things that share the similar formula with that of Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz- fish-out-of-water flicks loaded with comedic banter and wit, and plentiful of human struggle that further augment the legacy of these ordinary characters as the unseen heroes of their own coming-of-age tales of good versus evil in surreal, extraordinary circumstances-In this case, extraterrestrial beings bent on "improving" other planets by spreading their dogma of perfection across the galaxy with their intergalactic campaign of indoctrination. The brilliance, thought, is the reinvention that comes with each film, which sustains the series' overall freshness and authenticity as quality films anyone would be foolish to overlook.

Purely and plainly, I loved this movie, as it is more than just another sci-fi action comedy from a popular film trio. It really is an experience not to be taken for granted, and well worth the price of a ticket and the home purchase of this film, and the Three-flavors Cornetto Trilogy as a whole.
Go and see The World's End. No excuses.


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