Edgar Wright shows that he can not only walk, but excel in this hard to achieve mix of a genre.
Edgar Wright can clearly walk that very thin line between providing laughs, barn storming action, sci-fi and warmth. With this final installment of his self made “Cornetto” trilogy, he’s shown that he can not only walk but excel in this hard to achieve mix of a genre. Teaming up with long time friends Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and with high expectations from the first two in the series being held in the highest of modern British comedies (Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz), it was always going to be hard to hit the heights to seal off the collection of three films. Not only has Wright done that, but with a confidence of staggering and hilarious results.
Gary King (Simon Pegg) reunites his four closest school friends: Steve (Paddy Considine), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Peter (Eddie Marsan) and Andy (Nick Frost), to attempt and complete a previously failed pub crawl in their home town of Newton Haven, resulting in famous World’s End pub. But whilst venturing to each of the twelve pubs and each pint taking their toll, they slowly begin to realise the residents of the town are behaving weirdly, with a possible alien abduction threat ruining their chances of fulfilling their pub crawl plan.
As with all of Edgar Wright‘s films, you’re well an truly treated to a barrage of jokes and one liners that just make the whole thing zip along beautifully. Whether it’s Pegg’s character with his lack of decency playing against Frost’s matured stable and sensible character, there are these brilliant intertwining character traits that bounce off each other for the entire duration. At no point does it lose its head, even though some citizens of Newton Haven may, or resort to giving the audience what they want, or have to come to be comfortable with in regards to the previous outings.
There may not be as many visually funny moments, but the one liners are fired at you from start to finish, on the same rate as both Shaun and Fuzz. Infact, the main achievement Wright has produced is to provide a completely different brave story, that yet somehow fits perfectly tonally into his trilogy.
In comparison, whilst each film is undoubtedly unique, (with only a reference to a famous ice cream), the central idea that runs through each is putting quintessentially British culture, in among horror and sci-fi conventions. Where you had zombies and cults having previously provided the scares, here you have this force that, if you were being purposely awkward, would say doesn’t quite live up to the perilous and shock fest threat we’ve had before. But, it’s the subtler moments and that idea of homeliness that works everytime, and with funny moments about ringing your mum, borrowing cars, ex-girlfriends, going the pub when the world’s collapsing around you, you’re always going to tap into audiences’ witty ironic responses no matter whatever the chaos that’s ensuing.
Also you have the trend continuing of just perfect supporting cast. Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman just simply ease into the world of an Edgar Wright film and with Pegg and Frost always being the forefront of these movies, it always somehow feels like an ensemble piece that works really well, with no attempt at disregarding its wealth of supporting characters by just having them in the background. All five seem to lap up the script and go to town with it’s quips and in jokes that is just a joy to behold.
That trend you could say continues with its main characters. Nick Frost does that fantastic thing of seemingly being an ordinary guy but could take on the world with a chair and win, but this time spilling blue ink instead of red blood. Simon Pegg does the opposite of his shirt and tie wearing Shaun, with his outlandish rock n roll persona but still has that nonsensical attitude to those around him and can’t keep things pinned down at any one time. You also have Rosamund Pike as the promising love interest to more than one of our characters, who is as raptured up in the comic arena as our self named “five musketeers”.
With non stop comedy, Wright’s visual choreography and fast straight to the point editing all in abundance, it’s a welcome final act to these three stories that have grown a warm cult status in British cinema. But it’s the unique and brave quality to step away from following conformity that is most impressive, with plenty and plenty of laughs to enjoy. Making this closure to this already admired Wright/Pegg/Frost set even the more satisfying.