The World’s End (2013) – Film Review
by Dan Berlinka
Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright excel at splicing genre conventions with their own comedy perspective ever since the much loved (and much missed) TV series Spaced. That vision continues in their feature films and The World’s End completes the mini-cycle known (perhaps a little over-cutely) as the Cornetto Trilogy. But after the slight dip of Hot Fuzz, this latest and final instalment returns us to the heights of Shaun of the Dead. As a story it is more about its characters than the sci-fi/horror shenanigans that confound them.
Simon Pegg gives a fantastic central performance. At times it as poignant as it is funny. Surrounding him are some the finest British actors (comic or otherwise) that a film could hope to have in its cast list. They include Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and, of course, long-time collaborator Nick Frost. There’s also a rather charming turn from Rosamund Pike, who helps maintain an underlying tone of sweetness amidst all the laddish drinking and swearing.
“Filled with genuine laughs”
As in all of Pegg and Wright’s work the film is peppered with cultural references. But now that they – and we – have grown older, the nostalgia takes on a wistful tinge. If (like me) you’re around the 40-year-old demographic, the soundtrack alone will make you think they’ve nicked one of your old mix tapes.
Of course, like all pub crawls this one does flag a bit towards the end. They could maybe call it a night some 15-20 minutes earlier. The climactic confrontation does feel a little too much like a particularly talky Doctor Who episode. But these quibbles aside, The World’s End is as entertaining a film as you’re likely to see anywhere, filled with genuine laughs and set in a Britain that feels utterly true (albeit heightened) without ever seeming twee or parochial. I recommend it.