Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The World's End

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! If only real life pub crawls ended with something as interesting in this film rather than calls to the police and indecent exposure tickets.

The World’s End – 4 out of 5

Well, here we are at the end of the unofficial Cornetto Trilogy. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg came out the gate hard and fast with the incredibly brilliant zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead and followed it up with the delightful action romp Hot Fuzz. Now they returned for an alien invasion adventure in The World’s End

Alright, no more lazing about, Pegg.  It's time for another adventure.

Oh yes, they are, indeed, walking in slow motion.
The greatest moment in Gary King’s (Simon Pegg) life was the day that he and he friends; Andy Knightley (Nick Frost), Peter Page (Eddie Marsan), Oliver Chamberlain (Martin Freeman), and Steven Prince (Paddy Considine), went on an epic pub crawl that involved 12 pints in 12 pubs. Although they ultimately failed the challenge, King hopes to one day attempt this epic conquest again and, after years apart and years to mature and grow, decides to get the gang back together for the bar crawl test. After some convincing, the crew returns to their hometown and begins the fun and booze but with every pub they start to notice that something is off. Soon they realize the horrible truth that the town has been replaced with robot replicants and now they must fight their way off…and try and finish the crawl.

And when they got older, their slo-mo walk got so slo-mo that they look like they
are standing still.

The past films from Wright and Pegg in the Cornetto Trilogy were just absolute brilliance and films I’ve found that get funnier with each viewing. Both Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead were more than movies that poked fun at the zombie and action genre. There were works of loving representations of the genre and created by two men and a crew that have a passion for films that was undeniable. Each film wasn’t about making fun of the shortcomings of these genres but rather a non-stop homage to the greats that came before them. While I didn’t find The World’s End as funny as the previous two adventures, the care and respect taken for the Sci-Fi/Alien Invasion genre/stories is very abundant and absolutely crystal clear.

"Before we begin the crawl, let's take a moment to take in the trunk of my car...
just take it all in..."

If this film was made by another director in Freeman's life,
the movie would be four parts, each two and a half hours
long and an extended cut would be released 6 months
after the initial DVD and Blu-Ray release.
The World’s End, on paper, is filled with humor that could potentially be hilarious but the final product was more amusing for me rather than laugh out loud hilarious like the two previous films. That isn’t to say this one isn’t funny. While the movie is slick and flashy like the others in this trilogy, the truly funny moments didn’t come to me until well after a half an hour into the film. While still very entertaining and enjoyable, I really didn’t laugh out loud until the actual robots are revealed and the danger the guys are in is made apparent. This stems, in particular, from a very obnoxious performance from Simon Pegg.

Calm down, Frost, I'm not saying anything bad about your buddy.

I love Simon Pegg, don’t get me wrong but his character wasn’t very fun to put up with. He’s crass, annoying, immature and filled with an unwarranted ego—and that’s what he’s supposed to be! King’s friends all have grown up and are annoyed with the man’s desire to forgo maturity so you, the viewer, are suppose to feel their pain and utter lack of patience for the man. It works to that extent and Pegg is playing the character perfectly—however, this became a double-edged sword for me because while he’s doing what is suppose to be done for the character, it ends up robbing the film of the humor needed in the beginning of the film and all humorous scenes played out like a douche bag frat boy trying too hard to be funny and thinks calling his best friend a “faggot” is the height of comedy gold. There’s a fine line to walk with making a character like King engaging, annoying and hilarious and, as talented as Pegg is, I felt he couldn’t zero in on the right balance until the film was near the end of the second act (when King is a little more developed). While not late enough to destroy the film, it wasn’t early enough to make the beginning as funny as it needed to be.

I have heard that the beer in England is so good that you can't help but finish one...
even if your buddies are getting their asses handed to them by robots not more than
ten feet away.

Then again, I do think that Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead become funnier with every viewing so maybe with a few more replays I give this film, the more I will appreciate it and laugh at it. And, yes, I WILL be watching it more in the future.

Any movie that Pierce Brosnan shows up in instantly get classier...yes, even the
volcano one he did.  Until he arrived on set, the film was about a mountain that spits
up diarrhea.

Replicants trying to take over your lives...suddenly dealing
with the annoying students at Hogwarts isn't so bad.
Like the other Cornetto films, there is a great cast of both familiar and new faces playing in this movie. Pegg and Frost are back and proving what a great duo they are but the rest of the group is filled with very talented actors. Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan all participate and really make the group feel like a collection of old friends being forced to re-live old glories. The rest of the cast is filled with great players that really bring this robot-recreated world to life. While most of the other parts are small, they are filled by some incredibly talented people like Pierce Brosnan, David Bradley (Filch from those little wizard movies and someone I can’t wait to see in the Doctor Who biopic) and Michael Smiley (check him out in Kill List, he’s awesome!). The only role that was lackluster for me and ultimately forgettable was Rosamund Pike. However, that was more because I don’t really find her to be that memorable of an actress and her crazy eyes creep the fuck out of me.

And this is the least creepy crazy eyes pic I screencapped from the film.

Not to nitpick but Pegg looks strange with black hair.
The one thing I loved more than anything else about this movie is one of the things I loved about Shaun and Fuzz. Wright has this amazing ability to make his films look like serious contenders within the genre he is crafting his comedy in and, if it wasn’t for the jokes and gags, they all would be worthy of being summer blockbusters. Take away the jokes and Shaun of the Dead looks like a legit zombie horror/survival film. Take away the jokes and Hot Fuzz looks like a real law enforcement action film. I’m not saying that Wright/Pegg’s past works weren’t legit, I’m just saying that they crafted their comedies so well that they only look different from their counterparts because there are some gags thrown in along the way (well, more than what you would usually get, anyway). That trend was continued in The World’s End.

Was this in the movie?  Because I think this might look normal at a Daft Punk concert.

It blew me away just how awesome The World’s End looks with its tone, atmosphere and special effects. The robots looked like a real threat that you would see any number of action heroes taking on and the fight choreography was just absolutely, smashingly spectacular. The crew all looked less like comedy stars and more like action stars when they smash the blue-gooed bots to little bits (even when some of the characters like Oliver and Pete tended to wimp out). Nick Frost in particular had some very memorable fight scene moments that made the film incredibly action packed and fun to sit through.

Sadly, not a single one of them was Kung-Fu fighting.  You lied to me Carl Douglas!

Is The World’s End the best of the Cornetto Trilogy? I didn’t think so. Is it a waste of time? Why would you ask such a dumb question? Did you not look at my score? The World’s End is incredibly fun and put together with an attention to detail and a level of respect for the genre that you would only get from the God-like beings and movie buffs that is Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. While I honestly didn’t laugh as much as the first two movies, I still really enjoyed this one and thought it was a blast to sit through.

I think Edgar Wright was trying to tell us that ice cream was responsible for all these
events.  Frozen desserts are manipulating the universe, people!

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