Friday, August 23, 2013

The World's End

If you liked Shaun of the Dead and/or Hot Fuzz, just stop reading now and go see The World's End. All three are from the wonderfully demented minds of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg, and star Pegg and Nick Frost. They also have a startling number of other actors in common, including Martin Freeman.

I won't say anything about the plot beyond what the promo blurb says - it's about a group of five friends who set out to recreate a pub crawl from twenty years before. Everything else about the plot should be experience in the theater, or at least while watching the movie, not read about beforehand. Suffice it to say that things get weird.

If you have not seen Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz and are wondering just what kind of movie this is, the easiest answer is that it's a very British comedy that is reasonably accessible to Americans. It is also surprisingly serious in places - beneath the zany antics there are actual moral lessons, should you choose to pay attention to them. This is not a movie that should be taken very seriously, though. Go in expecting an odd and entertaining jaunt and you will likely not be disappointed.

This movie is a nice departure of character for Simon Pegg, who is usually a nice guy and/or a screwup, and in this film is much scruffier and less nice but still a screwup. I expect some of the character choices were made to differentiate himself from the role of Scotty. Regardless, Pegg is excellent in the role, as he should be, since he helped write it.

Nick Frost remains one of the best second fiddles around. Interestingly, I don't think there is a single reference to his weight in the entire film, and he does a fair amount of running. Martin Freeman, like Pegg, probably appreciates having a character on the big screen that isn't the face of a franchise. He's a solid actor as well. Pierce Brosnan was a small but compelling part, and I wonder idly if they tried to get Timothy Dalton (who was in Hot Fuzz) back, and settled for a different Bond.

The cinematography is surprisingly good. An early shot of characters approaching a table of beer glasses caught my attention as particularly artistic, and there are other nice touches throughout. The fight scenes also impress. There are a lot of them, but they stay lively and varied throughout.

Most of all, The World's End is fun. Funny, heartfelt, silly, absurd, and fun!

1. Much Ado About Nothing
2. Now You See Me
3. The World's End
4. Despicable Me 2
5. Star Trek: Into Darkness
6. Oblivion
7. Iron Man 3
8. Pacific Rim
9. Kick Ass 2
10. Man of Steel
11. Jack the Giant Slayer
12. Beautiful Creatures
13. RIPD
14. Oz the Great and Powerful
15. Epic
16. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
17. The Wolverine
18. Elysium
19. Monsters University
20. Hansel and Gretel, Witch Hunters
21. The Great Gatsby
22. The Lone Ranger
23. This is the End

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