Six years doesn’t seem like a lot of time for an anniversary style review, but it is long enough to completely forget about the movie that rounded off the infamous Cornetto Trilogy. Edgar Wright has become synonymous with film fans for his fast-paced action and steady hand behind the camera, but that changed somewhat with The World’s End.
Instead of the sharp hilarity we received with Hot Fuzz and the genius genre-blend of Shaun of the Dead, we get more of a standard, modern comedy. The originality and flair of the first two is subverted, mainly for the sake of a larger audience appeal. Although the feverish charm of Wright’s direction is there, the co-starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost look about ready to be put out to pasture.
It’s hard to summarise what makes The World’s End the weakest in the series, and my comments so far may be more than negative. Pegg and Frost may look ready to call it quits, but the two have an enjoyable line here or there. If anything, it’s the supporting cast and recognisable faces that are more worthwhile. Michael Smiley, Pierce Brosnan, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike and Paddy Considine have varying degrees of screen time, but they all make the most of it.
There’s nothing wrong with appealing to a larger audience, but with The World’s End it damages it somewhat. Once more featuring a great variety of sublime British actors, the final piece of Edgar Wright’s disconnected trilogy is a formulaic film that feels more like it’s just trying to round the series off than do anything unique or interesting.
First it was zombies, then it was police corruption, now it’s weird aliens. Definitely not what I’d expected, but at least it formalises the age-old tradition of the British pub crawl. Although Pegg’s performance isn’t all that incredible, the character of Gary King and the revelations throughout the movie that plague his character are really well written.
While The World’s End has its moments, it’s certainly nothing compared to the predecessors of the series. Sometimes missing the mark, The World’s End is by far the least remembered entry in one of the finest comedy trilogies of all time. At least it has the benefits of a killer soundtrack featuring Pulp, Suede and The Stone Roses. The strongest soundtrack of the trilogy, yet the weakest on comedic merit.