Film Review – The World’s End (2013): Jordan’s Take

The Worlds End

The World’s End

Directed by Edgar Wright

Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine

Review by Jordan

Allow me to introduce you to The World’s End; the distant, charmless, spiritless relative of the ever-green Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. If you’re looking for a few laughs, you’ll find them here, if you’re looking for endearing characters or the belly-aching comedic gusto the Spaced crew have become renowned for, you will be disappointed.

Hobbled by a predictable plot and referencing one of the most downbeat sub-genres in film, The World’s End is never given the chance to shine as a worthy entry in the Wright/Pegg/Frost resume. The story is that of five childhood friends, leader of the pack Gary King (Pegg), his best friend Andrew (Frost) and their followers Steven (Considine), Oliver (Martin Freeman) and Peter (Eddie Marsan, very funny here) who return to their home town after 20 years to complete the epic pub crawl they never quite finished, concluding at the titular pub of which the name becomes quite literal. It doesn’t take long for the crew to be bludgeoned with the realisation that something is very off in this once dead town, as Gary picks a fight with a rather odd teenager in a dingy restroom and, dare I say it, gets blue on him.

Then begins the copious amount of bar-room brawls and the realisation that we are not in for a refreshing ride, but rather a stale underachievement.

In previous reviews I’ve apologised for comparing the latest efforts of renowned directors to their more well-loved achievements, claiming a movie must be rated on its own merits and not as part of a collective, but again I must be hypocritical, as even the appearance of the expected cornetto in this conclusion of a kind-of-trilogy is deflating. Spaced (1999) is one of the great cult TV shows, masterfully handling loving pop-culture references and contemporary humour, Shaun of the Dead (2004) is one of the defining comedies of the past decade and Hot Fuzz (2007) an energetic and crowd-pleasing action homage, so what went wrong here? It’s almost unfair to say that if this was made by a first time director it could be looked upon far more favourably, but we can, and should expect better from Edgar Wright.

Despite my negativity, if you’re a fan of British comedy or science fiction you should most certainly see The Word’s End, and I hope you have a fantastic time with it. There is enjoyment here, mainly in the film’s opening half when the pace is a little slower, but as a whole it felt unexpectedly shallow and listless to me.

2 tap waters out of 5

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7 responses to “Film Review – The World’s End (2013): Jordan’s Take

  1. Completely agree – most of by disappointment came from comparing it to Spaced, Shaun and Fuzz. On it’s own terms, it’s underwhelming, but pleasing enough.

  2. Nice review, I felt the same way. It just didn’t fit together the way previous Wright movies have and wasn’t as fun, with very little laughs. It was enjoyable but forgettable. And I was shocked to find that This is the End was the better movie. I wouldn’t have predicted that a few months back!

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  4. That’s sad to hear. I was hoping to hear better things about this movie (thanks for the follow, by the way!). I adored Shaun of the Dead and found it to be a surprisingly morally positive movie (get up and take responsibility for your life).

    As far as comparing movies under the same directors … really I personally think it’s a legitimate thing to do. If a director makes a movie that excels at certain qualities and then makes a movie that does not, I’m definitely left thinking that the director and the scriptwriters (assuming these are not the same person) could and should have done a better job by learning from earlier works.

    A really good example that comes to mind is a pair of James Cameron’s films, “Avatar” and “Aliens” (co-written). The decades-old latter, in my mind, had more endearing characters and relationships (particularly between Ripley and the little girl) than anything I saw in “Avatar” and was much more exciting and intense.

    Though I will say that Avatar is one of the very few 3D films I’ve seen that’s made really, really good use of the technology. The others I’ve seen often seemed to use it primarily for highlighting speaking characters and not a whole lot else.

    • Ha no worries mate! And yeah great example, Maybe in the minority I still believe that Reservoir Dogs is Tarantino’s best movie as well.. although only just.
      Jordan

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