Whether or not you’re a fan of British humor, like Monty Python or the comedy sitcom staples we get in the U.S. on public television, you will probably get plenty of laughs from the third entry in the Cornetto Trilogy. Director/writer Edgar Wright, along with star and writer Simon Pegg, actors Nick Frost and Martin Freeman and many other actors from early entries in the comedy trilogy, deliver a singularly funny flick, better than you’d expect from the genre.
In the typical U.S. throwaway comedy movie about drinking and bar-hopping, the movie would be full of gross-outs and stupidity–anything–especially a shock–for a laugh. Edgar Wright cares enough about his own career and his famous actor pals to keep the script funny without sitting back on base humor for the easy laugh. And you don’t need to see earlier entries Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz (but why wouldn’t you?). The trilogy is about the creators, not the subject of the films.
Simon Pegg plays Gary King, who is stuck in counseling sessions and searching for that thing that might get him back on track. That thing is a 12-bar pub crawl from his high school days called The Golden Mile back home in the burgh he grew up in that he and his four friends failed to complete. The crawl ends at the last stop, a pub called The World’s End. Martin Freeman (now of The Hobbit, Sherlock Holmes and Fargo fame) plays Oliver, who is in real estate. Nick Frost (co-lead of past Cornetto entries and shows with Pegg, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, as well Spaced and Paul) plays Andy, a lawyer. Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum) plays Steven, who has already sold off one successful business, and Eddie Marsan (V for Vendetta, and Lestrade from the Sherlock Holmes films) plays Peter, who works for his dad in auto sales.
Pegg’s King manages to assemble the group for one last try at The Golden Mile. What works is these actors–and their characters–are all about 40 years old. All of them, successful or not, seem comfortable in their lot. But they all could stand for a little re-alignment, searching for that “truly me being me” factor. And hey, there just happens to be an alien invasion of borgs beings going on to stir things up. And we even get to see the adorable Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher) again, who plays Oliver’s sister Sam, who has a past with two of Oliver’s friends.
And did I mention the alien borgs? The climactic battle is superbly orchestrated and Nick Frost comes through to give his best performance to date.
The World’s End is out on DVD and Blu-ray at Amazon.com and other stores, and available from Netflix. It’s great fun and a must-see for fans of Wright and Pegg and Company.