Review: The World’s End (2013)

The World’s End



Edgar Wright


Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg


1h 49min


Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike, Pierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy, David Bradley, Darren Boyd, Michael Smiley

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Although each film stood on its own, Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy looked at cinema history and found the best genres to parody. After tackling zombie horror and cop buddy action genres, The World’s End brings us to the conclusion giving us a spoof of science fiction films.

Gary (Simon Pegg) has accomplished nothing since his teenage years, but decides to make a name for himself by completing his home town’s legendary pub crawl, visiting 12 pubs in one evening. Suckering his old cohorts into joining him, the five former friends find themselves in the midst of something straight out of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Almost everyone in town has been replaced by emotionless androids.

Pegg along with Nick Frost as now-teetotaler Andy, Paddy Considine as his school rival Steven, Martin Freeman as upstanding Oliver whose sister Sam Gary and Steven fought over, Eddie Marsan as Peter, and Rosamund Pike as the aforementioned Sam. Pierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy, David Bradley, and others have minor roles.

Science fiction classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers is one of the key influences on the film, an amusing reference to 1950s sci-fi features, which often blurred the lines between creature features and futuristic science fiction. The narrative thrust of the film drives the audience forward as Gary becomes increasingly insistent on completing the pub crawl even in the face of increasing danger.

Wright and Pegg have crafted three entertaining pictures that work well as stand-alone projects, but which seem perfectly fitting when grouped together. The World’s End takes less time to get to its android twist than its predecessor Hot Fuzz did, but the final act revelation hits right around the same point as the preceding feature.

As the film comes to a close on a post-apocalyptic future, World’s End shows what it has in common with Shaun of the Dead, depicting a rather outrageous future that contradicts what most of these types of films would consider a suitable or even happy ending.

Finding themselves lost in these zany comedy spoofs, audiences will have no issues finding their entertainment fix. The World’s End successfully ties up the trilogy in an almost ludicrous fashion while positioning the trilogy as a fitting tribute to cinema past. While audiences may be disappointed to learn that there won’t be anymore films in the series, the filmmakers have to wonder if returning to these roots, perhaps even as sequels, might end up as an interesting experiment.

Review Written

July 21, 2020

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