Film review: The World’s End

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Robots infiltrate a small English town in order to stop old friends from completing a reunion pub crawl in The World’s End. Robots infiltrate a small English town in order to stop old friends from completing a reunion pub crawl in The World’s End.

Sorry, peeps. The World’s End just isn’t as good as Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, the other features in the Simon Pegg-Nick Frost-Edgar Wright canon. Luckily, The World’s End is still a lot of fun, and Pegg and Frost prove once again to be captivating screen presences and fully committed, especially when dealing with the totally bizarre.

The World’s End starts with a simple premise. A down-on-his-luck loser, Gary (Pegg), wants to get his old mates back together to recreate the best night of his life, a 12-pub crawl in their hometown that ends at a pub called The World’s End.

Sounds simple, right? And for 45 minutes, that’s exactly what happens. In fact, Pegg-Frost-Wright fans may wonder just what, exactly, is this movie doing, playing itself so straight? The dialogue is sharp, to be sure, and Pegg is excellent as the ragged alcoholic trying to piece his life back together while not accepting that he’s a complete loser. The supporting cast—Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Eddie Marsan—take turns playing straight man to Gary, with Frost becoming more and more irritated at Gary’s shenanigans as they bounce from pub to pub.

Then The World’s End takes a wild left turn. Its left turn seems more random than anything that happens in Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, but once the craziness of it wears off, it’s just fun to sit back and let these guys do what they do best, which is make an audience laugh at the ridiculous.

If you’ve seen the trailer, you know the lads’ hometown has been taken over by robots. One of the recurring gags is that the homogenization of marketing, advertising, and branding has made it easy for the robots to slip in undetected.

And just what is the point of the robots and their masters? I’m not sure. There’s something in Pegg and Wright’s script, and it comes out of Pegg’s mouth in the movie, that has something to do with individuality and personal freedom, which sounds strikingly American for a film set in England. But what do I care? It’s a larf fest.

Speaking of larf fests, the lads and old friend Sam (Rosamund Pike) come face to face with twins who have been replaced by robots. The robot twins try to kill Sam and Gary, and somehow one of the robots loses her arms while the other loses her legs. So, working as a team, the robots attach the legs to the robot with the missing arms, and she goes back to beating the piss out of everyone.

Wacky, right? And how often can I use the word robot?

Anyway, there’s the aforementioned message in the screenplay about homogenization, but it gets lost in the movie’s sturm und drang. Besides, it’s been better said in sci-fi (think Invasion of the Body Snatchers), and still, I’m not entirely sure that’s the point.

There’s a twist at the end that’s just as crazy as the twist at the 45-minute mark, and it looks like there’s a set-up for a sequel. I use “looks like” because who knows? The World’s End is all over the place, but it doesn’t matter. We’re having fun.

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Movie houses

Carmike Cinema 6
973-4294

Regal Downtown Mall
Cinema 6
979-7669

Regal Stonefield 14
and IMAX
244-3213

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