One night. Twelve pubs. Let’s Get Annihilated with ‘The World’s End’, the final entry in the saga that began with Edgar Wright’s Shaun of the Dead over a decade ago.
It is a rare thing in cinema today to see a group of friends who just love making movies to be so very successful, to see films that are not devoid of story or drama but still capture the essence of fun that should accompany the art of filmmaking.
These people are Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and they now bring us their latest British sci-fi comedy creation.
Since the smash hit ‘Shaun of the Dead’ creeped it’s way into cult status barely a decade ago, followed by ‘Hot Fuzz’ continuing the legend not long after, these three friends have brought us along on their journey in creating what has become known as ‘The Cornetto Trilogy,’ named because each film features a Cornetto in some way.
Now, we’re lucky enough to get the final instalment, where the world ends at ‘The World’s End.’
On the surface, the premise here is deceptively simple:
A man named Gary King (played with wonderful belligerence by Simon Pegg) becomes nostalgic for his glory days as a drunken leader of a band of misfits in small town England.
The last time they were together was over 20 years ago, and back then they all attempted ‘The Golden Mile,’ a legendary pub crawl in Letchworth Garden City (home of England’s first roundabout in 1909) spanning 12 pubs.
The only rule for this trek is that you must have an entire beer at each pub to the complete the crawl, shots not withstanding. Their initial attempt left them with a terribly scarring tragedy, broken friendships and the crawl falling one pub short, that final destination being of course, The World’s End.
Now 20 years later, Gary has since glorified this night in his mind as he hits his 40s and realises that no, he’s not the man he could have been.We find him in group therapy and don’t know why, but he’s clearly having some issues. Maybe, though, just maybe he can still reach his potential, if only he and his childhood pals can complete that legendary crawl and finish what they started.
So he gathers up his old friends, and with a bit of the same nostalgia and the old Gary King charm, convinces them to have one more go around, for old times sake.
You may be wondering why so much time is spent on the setup to this fairly simple concept, but you have to understand the rules to the crawl and Gary’s personal motives for pushing so hard. Once the boys are on their way, it is a slow build as each pub presents them with more of their past and eventually a little something that’s out of this world. Gary’s determination in having a beer at each pub despite many unusual obstacles is absurd and hilarious, though, and he really will see it through to the bitter end.. or the lager end.
After the first act, the film takes quite a dramatic turn and we get some more supernatural elements in the vein of the previous Cornetto films, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. The characters handle the situation so casually that you can’t help but laugh and agree with their reasoning to continue on The Golden Mile.