I never got to finish my look at the Cornetto Trilogy as I only dived into Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. I remember doing this review to determine which of the three films I love the most since I do see these being grade “A” films, but knowing my favorite is just good. Knowing your favorite in any type of category just defines character and for my type of thinking, I like to explore to who I am. So with the previous two films we had Shaun of the Dead which I will say is at the bottom for me of the three which I know is highly unpopular among fans. Shaun to me is the beginning where things were great, but it was Hot Fuzz that seem to really perfect the style both Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg were trying to deliver. For The World’s End there is a big mixture of both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz in here along with some Scott Pilgrim as well. So I clearly put Hot Fuzz higher than Shaun of the Dead and as for The World’s End… we shall see what I think of it.
So the premise of this film is all about the past where the main character Gary King (great name by the way) tried to do the Golden Mile with his friends during their last year of high school. The Golden Mile is going to twelve pubs and having a pint of beer at each one in a specific order. Sadly, Gary never finished his trip and he has said himself that his life never got better than that. So twenty years later, Gary gets the gang all back together so that they can finally finish The Golden Mile and while he is up for it, all of his friends were quite skeptical of doing it, especially his former best friend, Andy. While the boys come back to New Haven they start to notice that the area is looking a bit different as some pups have changed their appearance to look like each other and the town folk are not as lively as they once were. The men are even starting to notice that people are not recognizing them while others clearly do remember them. Is this the simple art of Starbucking, or is there more to this than expected?
One thing about the film that I did not do was watch the trailers before actually watching the movie because it ruins the overall surprise that the film has. I will try my best to not say anything about what is going to happen in the movie, but if you know The Cornetto Trilogy, you can probably tell something strange is bound to happen. While I knew this, I wanted to be surprised about what the oddness this film has and let us say it is an exact fusion of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz with zombies and the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance. Now for the villains in this film I will say they do lose to the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance, but to me many things are better than zombies. The movie makes some great jokes with these new types of foes with one of my favorite scenes going to where the team tries to think of a name for them.
Reminding me of the team I can say while I loved the cast from Hot Fuzz, mostly Timothy Dalton playing as Simon Skinner, most of the heroes do take minor roles while Simon and Nick’s characters take the bigger parts. The World’s End breaks this tradition since there are a team of five men and then adding in a female cast member as well and I love these guys. Gary King became my favorite character in the whole trilogy because he is so fun to watch even though he is this incredibly sad character. Gary never got his life together after his high school experience and he is here simply to get some happiness back into his life. We really start to see how bad things are when he still uses a car from the past and constantly talks about his school experience. Yet in the beginning he is tricking his friends to come with him and going to any means possible to finish The Golden Mile. It is funny and yet it really gets to make you know the character in an instant then learning more of him keeps building onto him. Another reason why I love the character is that Simon Pegg usually plays as the hero. In Shaun he was Shaun of tried to save the day and finally move forward in his life. Then in Hot Fuzz he was the Mary Sue, Nicholas who needed to learn how to tone done his work ethics. Gary King is no hero, he is selfish and irresponsible and he is enjoyable because of that.
For Nick Frost he usually plays as the screw up. In Shaun of the Dead he was the man Eddy who held Shaun back for who knows how long. Then in Hot Fuzz he was the young officer Danny looking for excitement in his life. In the World’s End he is Andy who has a high paying job and has been living with his family. After a terrible accident with Gary the two never met again and he holds a heavy grudge on him. The only reason why he bothers to join was because of the news that Gary’s mother passed away. The bond between these two were great and again Andy is another one of my favorites because of how he turns around in the film since he starts out without taking a single drink and I love when we see him down five shots when he was tired of everything. Gary and Andy keep fighting with each other while fixing up their friendship as they go further into the journey.
Then we have the additional characters that get way more development compared to other minor characters with the first one being O-Man also known as Oliver. He too focuses on his job and seems quite happy with his life as of now. He does get a bit too absorbed into his work, but he is still a lovable guy. He is played by Martin Freeman who has appeared in all three films. Then there is Steven who is played by Paddy Considine who previously played as one of the Andy’s in the film. Out of the minor characters he gets the most development. He works in construction and has it quite well in his love life, but he needs something else. A former lover that he sadly missed his shot with back then and now being reunited could mean he could get that shot again. Finally we have Peter who is simply innocent and quite a mellow person. He always adds onto a joke and then when he starts to get hammered even he starts to get the brawling attitude. The other addition is then a female member who is played by Rosamund Pike and she is fine. Personally most of her involvement is a joke about the Three Musketeers which they make in the beginning of the movie. She does help the movie and is needed, but I don’t like her all too much still.
Now with all I have mentioned about the similarities the film has with the previous two, where does Scott Pilgrim fall into this? Well after doing the first two films there was the Scott Pilgrim film which helped out Edgar Wright’s directing on action sequences. I love the final fight in Hot Fuzz, but the overall action in The World’s End really takes Edgar Wright’s direction somewhere else. He started to learn about how fast action can be and combine with how he knows the action is happening everywhere, it really makes fight scenes full of life just like how Edgar Wright directs in general. Everyone is in on the action and the directing makes sure to remind you of that. Edgar Wright already knew how to play around with how the world is still moving outside of the camera’s eye and to me this is where he hits true gold again thanks to these action sequences.
Overall, The World’s End is my favorite film of the trilogy and that is mostly thanks to the great characters. Now some knock this film off because of the ending, but I think it fits the theme of the movie very well about how technology and modernization is killing off how unique people can be. It is a film about broken friendships and how broken people can be in general, but “To err is human, so err…”