The World’s End is the last of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto (aka Three Flavors Cornetto or Three Flavors) film trilogy. The only connecting tissue between the other two, Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, being that they were all written by Wright and the film's star Simon Pegg, with hilarious backup from Nick Frost, Britain’s answer to Jonah Hill.
Cornetto is a popular ice cream treat that comes marketed with a heart shaped logo on the box. Hot Fuzz features, and is a nod to, the original flavor. Shaun of the Dead is the strawberry flavored twin. The World’s End is the mint green chocolate chip younger brother, full of all kinds of out-of-this-world flavors.
Shaun of the Dead I remember fondly but Hot Fuzz hardly at all. The World’s End occupies the number 2 spot in my heart.
The World’s End is your typical 'guys relive their past and mortality' comedy in that it tries to recreate that great moment where they went for the gusto and almost got it – conquering the Golden Mile, a 12 tavern epic 'down-a-pint-at-every-tap' pub crawl, which finishes at the The World’s End hostelry. That is until the Robots come and it turn into a slapstick, kung-fu 'laughing and fighting' fest about trying to keep the title from happening; their lone bit of immortality from being erased. All while saving human mortality from the alien conspiracy that wants to be homogenized and 'Mac' Pub the human species. Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Diner critic Stephanie Zacharek notes and I agree.
Nick Frost and Martin Freeman (Bilbo Baggins himself), both from Hot Fuzz show up for homage and proper series closure. In a nod to Freeman’s other role of Watson on the BBC’s Sherlock,
Pegg’s one notable piece of clothing is a 'Holmesian' long black coat. Although the only mystery Pegg solves is the reconstruction of his last
great bender and what happened to his life after that.
Like all other Wright movies The World’s End is held together (just barely) by nostalgia, whimsy and raucous flights of genre bending imagination. Once the movies are over, they’re over, leaving only a few good comic moments preserved in the collective cinema memories cells. The World’s End just tells a little bit more touching tale about the changes in the British soul of the last decade or two.
It gets a 'B' from me.
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