In between Hollywood comic book movies, Edgar Wright goes back to Spaced territory and delivers another Simon Pegg/Nick Frost UK-set comedy. The World's End goes back to Shaun Of The Dead roots mixing small town everyday life, pubs and the supernatural, this time with more of a sci-fi vibe.
Pegg plays a guy desperate to re-capture the best time of his youth, the time he and his best friends attempted an ambitious pub crawl, by getting everyone back together and attempting the 12 pubs, 60 pints crawl one more time. Problem is: everyone's now older, wiser and less willing to go out and mindlessly party in the middle of nowhere just for the hell of it. In the end though, through some nifty emotional and financial manipulation, Pegg gets his wish and the guys are soon on their way to finish what they started once and for all. What they hadn't counted on, however, is the small, seemingly peaceful town's BIG issue: it's been taken over by alien robot clones filled with blue ink.
Hate it when that happens.
Every. Freakin'. Time!
The hook comes in a little late, to be honest, as the first half hour throws a lot of jokes and flashbacks at you, almost forgetting to get to the good stuff. The comic relief is understandable and the flashbacks are necessary to tell that particular story but unfortunately the script is just not quite as sharp as it should be to pull all of it off. Many of the jokes early on do fall flat and until the whole robot thing happens, you're slightly unsure as to why you should be interested in these people's lives. When the film finally gets going, however, it's a lot of fun. There are no real, mind-blowing surprises along the way, if I'm honest, but even then, it's all about the ride: the cast is good and likeable enough that, chances are, you'll soon get into the spirit of things and enjoy the film for what it is, a goofy, booze-filled sci-fi Brit-com. A lot of the movie is just plain odd (Pierce Brosnan pops up in a random cameo role), it kinda turns into The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy near the end humour-wise but overall, it's the kind of film you watch with your friends over a few drinks one night on DVD. I wouldn't call that one a particularly cinema-worthy outing, frankly.
All in all, I enjoyed The World's End, even with all its flaws. It's not perfect or crazy-hilarious or anything but it's a fun cartoonish romp. It's no Shaun Of The Dead, unfortunately, but it does its job rather well nonetheless: in terms of its simple plot, by the end it delivers with a satisfying conclusion almost worthy of a sequel.
Mindless but enjoyable.