Mar 3, 2014

[Movies] The World's End (2013)

I've become quite the Simon Pegg fan over the years but his movies together with Edgar Wright are a particular delight when compared to all others.

What started as a big of a joke has now formalized into the Cornetto Trilogy of movies, all of them being collaborations between Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright. These include Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and now The World's End. And while each movie has a wildly different premise and setting, they're all somehow tied together by the Cornette flavor each is supposed to represent.

I loved the two other movies in the trilogy, and I've been really looking forward to catching The World's End. But given the annual Metro Manila Film Festival that screws up December movie releases, it took me a little longer to finally catch it - and this was already on video mind you. I would have loved to have watched this on the big screen, but we make do with what we have I suppose.

Synopsis: The World's End is a 2013 science fiction comedy movie written and directed by Edgar Wright, together with Simon Pegg, who also contributed to the screenplay effort.

The movie starts with a flashback, as told from the perspective of Gary King (Simon Pegg). He and his schoolmates once tried to complete the "Golden Mile", which is a 12-bar pub crawl in their hometown of Newton Haven. It is revealed that he's telling this story to his support group, as he is recovering from drug addiction. They never actually made it to the end of the Golden Mile - the last pub being the titular one, the "World's End".

Gary then decides that it's about time to complete the crawl and try to reconnect with his old friends. They've become rather estranged over the years, but in the end Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Andy (Nick Frost) eventually respond to his call and they make their way to their old hometown of Newton Haven together. They're all rather grown up now and a lot more put-together than Gary. Andy has gone as far as rejecting alcohol entirely after incident that almost killed him and Gary. But as they visit the various pubs around Newton Haven, it soon dawns on them that things in the little town are hardly as what they remember and not at all what they appear to be as well.

Of all the Cornetto Trilogy movies, I have to admit that this one is the most clever. And the cleverness involved a lot of wit and intelligence that went into the writing of the screenplay. And thus it pays off to pay attention to everything that goes on in the story since there's a lot of subtle references and even basic site gags worked into the movie. Even the opening flashback narrative becomes pretty important in the long run in terms of foreshadowing various events in the movie.

It was rather curious how a story about recapturing one's youth through a nostalgia trip would become a science fiction story, but when things get around to that side of the narrative, it all makes perfect sense. And what makes things even more interesting is the fact that it's not like anything should come as a total surprise. If you keep a keen eye on things, the various "twists" in the story were actually well hinted at and pretty much make sense in the end. And that just adds a whole new dimension to things that I enjoyed a lot.

We don't really need to get into the acting, really. The crew involved in this movie mostly consists of folks who have appeared in the various Cornette Trilogy films and thus there's definitely a strong sense of camaraderie between them that really works with the narrative. It was nice to see Freeman in a somewhat more prominent role this time around since his appearances in past movies was more of a supporting character. I suppose this has more to do with his recent success with The Hobbit and of course Sherlock.

The World's End is a fitting end to this particular creative venture for Wright and Pegg and could possibly be their joint opus, as it were. It has a lot of great things that work for it and even some more basic comedy to keep things moving along. Thus perhaps from a more personal perspective, The World's End gets a full 5 surprise threats hidden in plain sight out of a possible 5.

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