Fans from all over the world flocked to theaters last weekend (or should have) to see the über-anticipated The World’s End, the latest collaboration from trinitrin trio Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. The well-rounded cast also included Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Eddie Marsan. I’m not a watcher of the new British TV series Sherlock Holmes, but as I understand it, Freeman is a much-loved Dr. Watson, and who could ever forget his role in Love Actually? And then there’s Paddy Considine, a quite intriguing character actor, and always fun to watch. The most recent film I’ve seen him in was Blitz, actually an entertaining Jason Statham movie, smarter than most. Which isn’t a high bar to set, admittedly.
Five high school friends reunite after years of separation to conquer a pub crawl of epic proportions. Along the way, they are confronted by the realities of their lives, their mistakes, and their missed opportunities. But, even more surprisingly, they confront an alien invasion and must decide that all-important question: finish the pub crawl or not?
What I Loved:
- The smart, fun, and satirically cutting dialogue audiences know to expect from a Frost/Pegg movie was fully present. A sample:
Martin’s character: You do realize that the Three Musketeers is a fiction written by Alexandre Dumas?
Pegg’s character: A lot of people are saying that about the Bible these days.
Considine’s character: What, that it was written by Alexandre Dumas?
Pegg: Don’t be daft, Steve. It was written by Jesus.
- The “daily life of a middle-class Englishman turns utterly bizarre” twist. Also a commonality among the Frost/Pegg/Wright films.
- But most of all, there was a new and deeply poignant edge to the characters played by Frost and Pegg that audiences may not expect. This time, the troupe tackled aspects from the darker side of the human psyche, tossing them into audience’s laps with a rawness and candor that may well make you reflect on things you’d rather not. Frost’s character had a particular darkness to him that we’ve not seen before, but which he portrayed so convincingly that the usual instinct to laugh at his anticipated antics was utterly squelched (but in a good way, um…).
- The soundtrack, which was unbelievably awesome.
- The ending twist. I won’t spoil it. But I will point you to a similar movie that I was reminded of (and equally enjoyed).
What I Didn’t Love Much:
Can’t think of a thing.
Verdict: see this. You really can’t be disappointed. It’s everything you’ve come to love with this lovable group of thespians, and with a heart-warming takeaway message to boot. Kinda.
Bechdel Test status: fail.