THE WORLD’S END Movie Review
The World’s End is the final movie in director Edgar Wright’s ‘Cornetto Trilogy’, and it’s the darkest emotionally and most philosophically satisfying, not to mention filled to the brim with the rich humor and odes to cinema those who’ve been paying attention have come to expect. The maturity of underlying subtext with hyper-kinetic comedy and brawls are so finely balanced that the conclusion of Edgar Wright’s pint chugging canvas manages the rare feat of delivering and surprising.
Simon Pegg, as Gary King, is far removed from what we’ve grown to expect and deserves admiration for carrying the double edged sword of playing the most abrasively annoying character in the movie and stretching himself where many have doubted he ever would. King is so unlikeable that it would be a chore to follow him alone and that’s where the brilliance of the ensemble casting comes into play. Nick Frost plays Andy in another unbelievable against type performance and is joined by Martin Freeman, Paddy Cansadine, Eddie Marson and later Rosemund Pike.
The soundtrack plays great importance as the opening scene is set up with Loaded by Primal Scream,opening itself with a Peter Fonda monologue from The Wild Angels that alone is pitch perfect in setting up the social commentary on King. Every song underlines every moment and particularly the use if Step Back In Time by Kylie Minogue punches the exclamation point.
Without giving away the importance of the plot, all you need to know is five teenagers from Newton Haven attempt to trek the “Golden Mile” hitting 12 pubs with 1 pint per pub. Needless to say after failing such attempts, everyone has grown up and moved on with their lives except for Gary who rekindles his obsession after being asked “Are you disappointed?”
As we watch Gary lying and manipulating his friends out of selfishness and desperation, his friends allow us to feel sympathy. Much like Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg who penned the script, they are much older and wiser, their dimensions run deeper and we experience a cavalcade of emotions looking through their perspectives. The meditation on the transition to middle age flows as we follow Gary’s complete lack of regard for his friends in dangerous situations.
It is understood that nostalgia keeps Gary miserable and is his weakness yet his salvation. Everyone knows a Gary, the one who never loses arguments and never admits he’s wrong. You become exhausted if you ever attempt to debate him. That is especially how Andy feels, who absolutely loathes Gary and completely distrusts him. He’s aware he’s been conned and his regret only matches his curiosity of how their evening will play out.
What I love about Edgar Wright’s films are their repeat enjoyability due to layers upon layers of treasures waiting to be explored in further viewings. You may find yourself pondering after The World’s End how such a strong decomposition of self-debauchery has come, before you and yet you find yourself in the pub with a refreshing cold pint.