Last Level Press

Film Review: The World’s End

Reviewer: Olen Bjorgo

In the small English town of Newton Haven is a legendary pub crawl known as the Golden Mile, a crawl that starts at the First Post and finishes with The World’s End. Gary King and his four friends tried it once when they graduated high school, but failed to finish it. Now reaching middle age, a hedonistic Gary gathers his divided friends across London to try and finish what they started back in 1990, and soon becomes a journey of self-discovery and realization…but this is an Edgar Wright film. Anyone who has seen Hot Fuzz, Shaun of the Dead, or even Scott Pilgrim vs. The World knows that this won’t be a normal pub crawl.

“Normal” being quite relative already.

Visually, The World’s End is what you’ll come to expect from one of Wright’s films: quick cuts and extreme close ups that accentuate a joke, amazing fight scenes, and small nods or running gags in the background. The most notable is with first two pubs that the gang visits: both are exactly the same except for the names and the people who are in them. However, as the film progresses the pubs begin to look more unique, yet there are still overarching bits that make them all the exact same.  Even if you don’t keep a fine eye for detail, the film is still wonderfully shot.

The soundtrack for the film is full of music from the 1980s, primarily filled with British rock that the characters would have heard growing up. Given how it’s a reunion story it makes sense to have these five men in their 40s in their old hometown have the music of their youth be the backdrop to their actions, but it’s more like Gary’s mixtape of his favorite hits rather than a playlist on someone’s iPod. Its themes of freedom, fun, and neverending parties are more like anthems for Gary.

The story, between the moments of insanity, humor, and action, is rather tragic. Gary’s life of fun and freedom is an absolute wreck compared to seemingly idyllic and responsible lives of important jobs, nice cars, families, and everything society expects you to have when you’re reaching middle age. After telling the story how the greatest moment in his life was the day he graduated to a support group, Gary wants to accomplish the one thing that really mattered to his life: the Golden Mile. His attempt to gather up his friends and relive the glory days is met with uncertainty, contempt, and not meeting to his expectations. The return to Newton Haven also brings up old memories, old wounds, and even old loves for his friends. The procession from each pub on the Golden Mile escalates these feelings and memories until it finally comes to a head at The World’s End.

Pictured: A conservative plot summary.  Go on, soak up the whole scene.

Now you’re glimpsing Edgar Wright’s mind.

The cast has the Edgar Wright regulars of Simon Pegg playing Gary King and Nick Frost, playing Gary’s former best friend Andy, while the remaining three friends of Peter, Oliver “O-man”, and Steven are played by Eddie Marsan (Inspector Lestrade, Sherlock Holmes), Martin Freeman (Arthur Dent, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), and Paddy Considine (Andy Wainright, Hot Fuzz) respectively. While Pegg gets tremendous praise for playing Gary King, since the story is about King’s growth and development as well as being hopelessly stuck in the past, props must also be given to Nick Frost for his portrayal of the wounded and betrayed Andy, since he was the most cynical and distrusting of Gary throughout much of the film. Although their characters don’t have a large level of development, we still see how the return to the old stomping grounds affects Peter, O-man, and Steven in their own little ways. However, it should be said that everyone receives a happy ending, albeit in their own strange ways.

Note the gravity of the word “strange” in relation to an Edgar Wright

film, by the way.

The World’s End is a unique take on your typical reunion film, and presents a pretty realistic portrayal of how that freedom-loving, party-hard sort of guy you knew in high school can grow up to become a really pathetic individual if they remain in that mindset. While it handles a serious story, the film doesn’t take itself too seriously to the point of being a drama, since it’s still supposed to be a fun romp: it knows when to be funny, when to be serious, when to be sad, and even when it’s supposed to be defeated or victorious. If you enjoyed Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz then you owe it to yourself to see this wonderful end of the Cornetto trilogy. To anyone else wanting to see a great comedy film, The World’s End is probably one of the best choices to end the summer on.

Rating: 8.2

Visuals: 8
Audio: 9
Narrative: 8
Acting: 9
Atmosphere & Experience: 7

Final Verdict:


  Director: Edgar Wright

  Producer: Nira Park, Tim Bevan,

                  Eric Fellner

  Studio: Relativity Media, Working

                   Title Films

  Release Date (U.S.):  Aug 23, 2013

  Release Date (U.K.):  Jul 19, 2013

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Last Level Press © Copyright Cliff Davenport  Est. 2013.   | Legal Notices

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