The World’s End (2013)
Directed by Edgar Wright
“The World’s End,” the newest witty blast of British fun from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (the tenacious duo that brought us “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”), was one of 2013’s funniest offerings. I mean it. Pegg is an absolute riot, and though his character’s relationship with Frost’s is a bit sketchy to start, they end up with that old “them against the world” mentality that they always have…but this time, it takes on a more literal meaning.
Nearly 25 years ago, five best friends attempted a difficult pub crawl in their small, rural England town…but they didn’t make it all the way. For Gary King (Pegg), nothing since that night has lived up to his expectations. He’s still stuck in the 90s, driving his same old car and trying to relive the glory days…in doing so, he turned into an alcoholic. Now, “King Gary” is ready to do it again…and make it all the way through this time. So he tries to gather his friends (played by Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, and Eddie Marsan) from their jobs around the country to return to their hometown and conquer The Golden Mile and reach the crawl’s final destination, The World’s End. But they’re all grown men with jobs and families, so they’re reluctant…until they get back to their hometown and see that nothing has changed. Except for the people they thought they knew.
To watch these escapades unfold is to enjoy them. “The World’s End” is a grand ol’ time, and it’s all thanks to its riotously entertaining cast. Like I said before, Pegg looks like he’s having a blast. You can’t help but smile when you watch him in his element. As good as any comedic performance I’ve seen in a while, Pegg’s jokes fly at just the right points. His timing is impeccable. Freeman is a hoot. Fight scenes between the men and the zombie-like hoards of robots (or “blanks” or “blue bloods”) that have invaded their small town are humorously choreographed for the desired effect – serving as both fast-paced action sequences and slapstick comedy. It’s certainly an adventure. And the laughs stick…not like some of 2013’s unfunny duds (I’m talking ’bout you, “This Is The End“–2013’s other, much lousier attempt at apocalyptic comedy). Whatever the reason, “The World’s End” is a ton of fun to watch. I couldn’t stop smiling.