The World’s End (d. Edgar Wright UK 2013)

The World’s End (d. Edgar Wright UK 2013)

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Whenever I was to talk about This Is the End (d. Evan GoldbergSeth Rogen USA 2013), people would assume that I was talking about The World’s End. Edgar Wright’s latest comedy is amongst the more eagerly awaited films – though probably just amongst the cult of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright. There are many that are enthusiastic about Shaun of the Dead (d. Edgar Wright UK/France/USA 2004) Hot Fuzz (d. Edgar Wright UK/France/USA 2007), Paul (d. Greg Mottola USA/UK 2011). These films follow similar themes, style and type of comedy and this is upheld by The World’s End. In fact, The World’s End is particularly similar to Shaun of the Dead. However, despite being largely a part of Pegg’s, Frost’s and Wright’s repertoire, The World’s End, takes up a recent trend in cinema and offers its own spin. A Sci-Fi Comedy about a middle aged pub crawl with cornettos and the apocalypse (I hope these aren’t spoilers to you, really!), this surely isn’t the most traditional kiss, kiss bang, bang, look-at-me remake/sequel of the day.


The World’s End makes an attentive tribute to 50’s and 60’s Sci-Fi, particularly films like Invasion of the Body Snatchers (d. Don Siegel USA 1956) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (d. Robert Wise USA 1951). But here we see a loving play with the genre, with a slightly modern twist. Well we’ve all become pub drunks haven’t we? Whereas most films of that day focused on a government and the community. Here if the community features at all it is in parody. The film focus’ on more mundane characters that take up a modern day trend of nostalgic middle aged people. Bringing responsible adults back to the drunk comedies like Superbad (d. Greg Mottola USA 2007), interestingly This is the End and very obviously Shaun of the Dead. (SPOILER: Similarly, Shaun of the Dead’s grand plan revolved around getting to the pub, whilst here the grand plan is to keep getting to the next pub). The comedy shows Simon Pegg doing what he does best, whilst juxtaposing different mismatched genres in both a loving tribute and a parody.


The Narrative structure is, however, fairly generic. If you overlook how the film revolves around mundane people and circumstances, the narrative is fairly straight forward. I would not say this makes the film predictable, as these mundane circumstances throws you off the scent. (SPOILER: Did you expect the characters to think the best idea is to drink up and carry on? Rather than: we must overcome the invasion or discover what is wrong with this town!) However, it sometimes felt like character motivations were lacking. Considering how Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are in love, it was interesting to see them have relationship turbulence, but how exactly was it resolved? – seemed a bit too easy for its build up. A note on special effects, it is interesting how the film downplays the use of special effects, particularly for a sci-fi. However, there are moments of well used special effects that are largely secondary to the film – again in a sci-fi?


The Cornetto trilogy has quite a faithful and passionate cult following and this makes for a good entry – though not quite climactic (hey, maybe there’ll be more). The film is quite funny and does offer you a new take on the genre. If Edgar Wright, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg work for you, then this will be a good film. But like all comedies it is very dependent on your taste. Abusive gross out comedians may be left missing something. The film isn’t all that silly either. However, it’s hard to be critical, I am a sucker for Simon Pegg and particularly Simon Pegg in a Sisters of Mercy Tshirt!


Further Reading

The World’s End Official Site

Edgar Wright Site

Simon Pegg Site

Nick Frost Fansite

Interview 1

Interview 2

Radio Times Interview


Shaun of the Dead

Hot Fuzz

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