MOVIE: The World’s End (2013)

worldsendTo be honest, I was expecting to like this movie more than I did.  I’m a big fan, after all, of the first two installments in the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg “Cornetto” trilogy, of which Shaun of the Dead was the first, Hot Fuzz the second, and this the third, and it’s also become clear to me that I will never, ever have my fill of Simon Pegg or Martin Freeman.  Go ahead and try, Hollywood — I don’t know the meaning of the term “overexposure” when it comes to those  two.  Plus, you know, this really is a funny movie.  I laughed — heck, I even LOL’d.  So, why the vague sense of disappointment when the final credits rolled?

Whelp, the short answer is because it’s so very much like Shaun of the Dead, from the gags to the structure to the storyline. Which is good, because I love Shaun of the Dead.  But it’s also bad, because I’ve SEEN Shaun of the Dead.

In other words, while both of the first two Cornetto films felt almost energizingly unique and original to me (Shaun, after all, being among the first, if not actually the first, “zom-rom-com” ever made), this movie was about as derivative as they come.  Not only is it essentially just Shaun all over again, only with robots and middle-aged schlubs instead of zombies and 20-something slackers, but even the more personal elements felt hacked together from other films to me.  Nothing stood out as new or interesting or even all that fun, really.

The World’s End is about a group of guys who were best friends in high school, but now, twenty years later,  have  changed quite a bit — as most of us do when we get older.  They got serious, had kids, quit drinking, took  important jobs, etc.  All, that is, except for the group’s king-of-cool leader, Gary (Pegg), who has remained firmly stuck in place while everybody else went and got all growed up.

Now that he’s in his 30s, the kind of cool that made Gary cool is no longer cool, and Gary knows it.  (Stop me if you’ve heard this plot before.  Yeah, me too.) In a desperate attempt to recapture that glorious feeling of relevance from his youth, he starts calling his old buddies to “get the band back together” so they can return to their hometown and complete the infamous “Golden Mile” 12-pub crawl they’d attempted and failed at finishing in their youth.

Once they roll into town, though, they find their little village has been taken over by robot alien thingies that look just like people.  Cue lots of robot alien dismemberment, a modicum of male bonding with the occasional truly tender moment, and a whoooooole lot of silliness.

There’s nothing bad about this movie.  It has plenty of laughs, the characters were fine, the acting is great, whatever.  But, after Shaun and Fuzz, I had pretty high expectations and The World’s End didn’t meet them. It ended up feeling rather a lot like The Big Chill x Shaun of the Dead – zombies + robots, and that’s the kind of math that makes me start to yawn.

I suppose a sluggish, tired feeling in the final installment of a trilogy in which the characters are now Old Marrieds is sort of fitting, but I couldn’t help but feel Wright and Pegg were all too ready to move on here themselves, and when every laugh is about half as laughy as it could’ve been with a little more effort, it’s hard to get too excited about the movie as a whole.

So, you know, recommended because, at the very least, it’s Pegg and Freeman and that’s not worth nuthin’.  But go in with modest expectations.  VERY modest.  Like, Victorian.

[Netflix it | Amazon Buy/Rent]

Genre: Comedy, Science Fiction
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike

One Response to “MOVIE: The World’s End (2013)”

  1. RogerBW Says:


    It’s always good to see a film in which being the eternal manchild isn’t considered automatically praiseworthy, but… it’s all a bit meh, and that in itself is annoying.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: