INTRODUCTION. Disappointing, is how most people described The World’s End when it was first released…which I find bizarre after having tremendously enjoyed the film. So listen: although it is my favourite instalment of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, I highly recommend not allowing its predecessors to set expectation. The stories are not a continuous narrative but a repeated one, and its latest reiteration is patently cunning as well as being a brilliant escapade.
CHARACTERS. I knew that I would like Gary King from the getgo. Not as a deranged, nostalgic alcoholic with a penchant for the theatrical but as the sly yet sincere lad underneath. He is also quite mad, altogether earnest, and forthcoming while still being in denial. I can hardly describe how well the characters have been written/acted. These five musketeers are quite grown up men in their forties. Each of them is bent on never returning to Newton Haven, as part of a desire to avoid the nagging past- each except for Gary, naturally, who wants nothing more than to dive into those memories by reliving or bettering them. Everyone is flawed, likeable, and astoundingly three dimensional. Even teetotallers like myself may sympathize, as character exploration is a huge part of The World’s End. The best thing to do is to sit back and enjoy their discordant camaraderie and familiar chemistry.
STORY. You could consider the film as a humorous testament to Britain’s inherent drinking culture, dabbed on with a bit of science fiction, but I promise that it is much more. Gary King herds his old mates together for another go at finally completing an ambitious pub crawl of their youth. The motivation is entirely on his part and King’s fixation is almost painful to watch. This isn’t Shaun, driven to desperation over the length of a film, or Angel’s particular obsession with the law. Gary begins the story in desperation of an imagined ideal. The plot is cleverly built on echoing pub crawls, and intertwines with elements of nostalgia, medieval brotherhood, as well as the underlying issues behind society’s advocation of “growing up”.
In spite of some heavy subject matter The World’s End is still disarmingly comical and bizarre.
CONCLUSION. If you’re going to give the film a shot, I’ll advise you again to expect something different in tone from Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz. Once you get past that, it’s a smooth path to realizing what a fantastic production this is.
CHARACTERS: 9/10 STORY: 8/10 REWATCH FACTOR: 6.5/10 OVERALL: 8/10