From the brilliant minds of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright comes the third film in their “Cornetto Trilogy”, The World’s End. The other films in the trilogy are of course Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. All three are comedies and while they feature many of the same players, they portray different characters in each.
Five men who grew up together in a small English town and left long since are brought together by one of their number for a trip home. “Gary King” (Pegg) is almost exactly as he was when he and the other four attempted “The Golden Mile” just after graduation from school. The Mile is a pub crawl, 12 pints in 12 pubs that begins at “The First Post” and will conclude at “The World’s End.” Gary finagles, cajoles and tell outright falsehoods to get “Andy” (Frost), “Peter” (Marsan), “Steven” (Considine) and “Oliver” (Freeman) to join him on this journey. All four have moved on from their small-town roots, become successful and have nice lives that they are leaving behind for this weekend jaunt, unlike Gary.
Gary is expecting to be welcomed back home as a conquering hero but that isn’t the reception they receive at The First Post. What they find instead is that things have changed in their hometown of Newton Haven. The pubs are different (they all look remarkably similar), the town looks different and the people are decidedly different. Andy refuses to drink, having given up alcohol long ago after an accident that is the reason he and Gary are no longer close.
At their second stop, “The Old Familiar” they run into “Sam” (Pike) who happens to be the sister of Oliver, one of the many objects of Gary’s lust, and the woman that Steven has been in love with for as long as he’s known her.
When Gary gets into a tussle with a teenaged boy at yet another pub further along in the crawl; part of a group of five such youths who remind our heroes of themselves at that age, he discovers the big secret. Many of the town’s residents have been replaced by what appear to be robots, filled with a colorful goo rather than blood. Rather than draw attention to themselves by trying to flee, they decide to continue the crawl.
The writing is nothing short of brilliant, the film is filled with humor and biting social commentary. It’s science-fiction, comedy, action and more all wrapped up in a neat package. It doesn’t go over the edge of camp into total ridiculousness, but gets just close enough to that edge to be thoroughly enjoyable. The humor, both verbal and physical is superb. Enjoy!