Monday, September 09, 2013

The World's End

Directed by Edgar Wright and written by Wright and Simon Pegg, The World’s End is the story about a group of friends who try to reclaim their youth by doing a legendary pup crawl in a town only to realize that the town has been taken over by aliens. The third film in an unofficial trilogy known as the Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy, the film is not a spoof but rather a sci-fi adventure film of sorts where a group of friends try to drink 12 pints in 12 pubs to complete a legendary pub crawl. Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike, and Pierce Brosnan. The World’s End is a very adventurous yet funny film from Edgar Wright.

The film is about a man who is definitely lost in his life as he tries to gather his old friends to try and complete a pub crawl they did over 20 years ago which they attempted to do but never finished. Though they’re all estranged from each other, the five men try to rekindle their old childhood friendship to do this legendary pub crawl in their old hometown of Newton Haven known as the Golden Mile. What happens is that there’s a lot of strange things happening in the town that raises suspicion forcing the men to team up and fight whatever forces they have all the way to the final pub known as the World’s End. It’s a film that plays into one man’s desire to relive the best moment of his life but he hasn’t managed to do anything as an adult as he tries to gather his old friends to relive that moment of their youth.

The screenplay that Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s explores not just the element of nostalgia but also how one man seems stuck in his past that he couldn’t deal with the current state of his life as he tries to reclaim his youth by attempting to complete a legendary pub crawl with his estranged friends. While the four other men in the story have grown into adults with pretty fulfilling lives, they’re reluctant to take part in this pub crawl only to become suspicious about the locals in their old home town. It is there that the tone of the film goes from being a study of nostalgia and friendship into a story of survival as these five men fight mysterious beings as it relates to the idea of perfection and such rather than the flaws of humanity. The narrative is quite simple in terms of its structure and plotting but what makes it so engaging is the fact that the story’s heart is about these five men trying to rebuild their friendship amidst the chaos of their situation and complete this legendary pub crawl.

Wright’s direction is quite simple for the most part but does have this element of nostalgia and ambition. Notably in the latter where there’s a lot of sci-fi into the story as well as a sense of adventure that is prevalent throughout the film. Even as it would play to the drama where Wright does find ways to put some humor into these moments but also have odes to such sci-fi classics like The Thing and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Wright’s approach to nostalgia as he infuses the film with a lot of references to the early 90s as well as the idea of trying to live in the past as a way to showcase the sense of loss that the film’s central character in Gary King (Simon Pegg) is dealing with. Even as he does whatever to get to the World’s End by any means. Wright’s approach to framing is quite simple yet he does put in a lot of things that are quite extraordinary including the film’s climax that involves the mystery of the robots the characters are trying to fight off. Overall, Wright creates a very witty yet sensational film about one man’s attempt to relive his youth.

Cinematographer Bill Pope does excellent work with the cinematography from the look of the town at day to more stylish lights for some of the interior and exterior scenes at night. Editor Paul Machliss does amazing work with the editing by creating a few stylish montages as well as elements of stylish cuts in some of the film‘s comedic and suspenseful moments. Production designer Marcus Rowland, with set decorator Sara Wan and supervising art director Nick Gottschalk, does brilliant work with the different look of the different pubs set for each moment in the journey.

Costume designer Guy Speranza does terrific work with the costumes as most of it is straightforward with the exception of Gary‘s Goth-like clothes. Makeup prosthetics designer Waldo Mason does fantastic work with some of the makeup work to play up some of the freakiness of the alien-robots the characters fight against. Visual effects supervisor Frazer Churchill does superb work with some of the visual effects to play out the chaos of some of the sci-fi moments. Sound designer Julian Slater does nice work with the sound to create some sound effects and moments to play up the chaos of the film. The film’s music by Steven Price is pretty good as it‘s low-key to play out the sense of adventure and suspense with its guitar and orchestral music while music supervisor Nick Angel brings in a fun soundtrack filled with a lot of great cuts from the early 90s like Sisters of Mercy, Happy Mondays, the Stone Roses, Blur, Inspiral Carpets, the Charlatans, Kylie Minogue, the Sundays, James, and St. Entienne as well as a cut from the Doors.

The casting by Nina Gold and Robert Sterne is phenomenal for the ensemble that is featured in the film as it includes appearances from David Bradley as a famous pub drinker the boys knew, Rafe Spall and Alice Lowe as a young couple looking for a house, Michael Smiley as a drug dealer named Reverend Green, Bill Nighy as the voice of a mysterious enigma, and Pierce Brosnan as the men’s old schoolteacher Guy Shepherd. In the roles of the young characters, there’s Thomas Law as the young Gary, Zachary Bailess as the young Andy, Jasper Levine as the young Steven, Luke Bromley as the young Oliver, James Tarpey as the young Peter, and Flora Slorach as the young Sam as they’re all quite good in those roles. Rosamund Pike is wonderful as Oliver’s sister Sam who becomes suspicious of what is going around the town as she tries to help the guys get out of town.

Eddie Marsan is terrific as Peter as a family man/car salesman who is still dealing with the trauma of being bullied as a kid while trying to comprehend the chaos of the situation. Martin Freeman is excellent as Oliver as a real-estates agent who isn’t sure about taking part as he’s trying to deal with his business while later becoming more outrageous as the film goes on. Paddy Considine is amazing as Steven as a man who holds a torch for Sam as he tries to deal with Gary’s immaturity and the chaos of the situation. Nick Frost is brilliant as Andy as a corporate businessman who was once Gary’s closest friend as he is the most reluctant to take part in the pub crawl only to go insane in battling the robots and confronting Gary about his problems. Finally, there’s Simon Pegg in a marvelous performance as Gary King as this immature yet troubled man-child who tries to rally everyone to complete the pub crawl while being evasive as he’s often lying or just doing something where it’s a really funny performance from Pegg.

The World’s End is a fantastic sci-fi adventure film from Edgar Wright that features a brilliant ensemble cast led by the duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The film isn’t just a fitting conclusion to their Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy but also a great ode to the sci-fi adventure films while infusing it with smart and heartfelt humor. In the end, The World’s End is a sensational film from Edgar Wright.

Edgar Wright Films: (A Fistful of Fingers) - Shaun of the Dead - Hot Fuzz - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Baby Driver - The Sparks Brothers - Last Night in Soho

© thevoid99 2013


Dan O. said...

I could only imagine how much more fun this movie would be if you had a couple of pints in your system as well. Good review bud.

thevoid99 said...

Yeah but like CM Punk, I'm straight-edge. I don't drink, I don't do drugs, and I don't smoke. I'm too fucked up to even think about doing that shit.