A few weeks ago I released my Top 5 Favorite Directors of All Time. If I could add a man who would be another honorable mentioned and climbing fast, it would be Edgar Wright. I love his movies. Him and Simon Pegg make some of the most hilarious movies I have seen in recent years. Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are two of my favorite movies ever and it just seems like their movies get better and better each year. Their recent film, The World’s End has brought new life to the flailing end of the summer, making a hilarious and original movie that should be one of the bench marks on how to make a classic comedy movie.
Created from the shared minds of Pegg and Wright, The World’s End starts off as a story of a man named Gary King (Simon Pegg) who finds himself in AA talking about the greatest day of his life attempting to make the Golden Mile with his five friends in the small town of Newton Haven when they were kids. They have a pint in the twelve different bars, that ends with the bar The World’s End, which they do not complete. After this, he decides it is going to be his goal to relive the greatest day of his life as he either coerces his friends Peter (Eddie Marsen), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and his former best friend Andie (Nick Frost) to return to their old town and attempt it again. What starts off as four men humoring their struggling friend by taking the golden mile turns into a suspense filled night as the group discovers that the town’s people have actually been replaced by robots (or not robots? Who knows). The movie then follows the five friends as Gary continues to force them through the Golden Mile and try to avoid the town and the blanks. This isn’t even the tip of the iceberg of all the story and levels that this movie has, all of which are just phenomenal. So I do not want to waste anymore time, let’s get into it.
It Is The Perfect Blend of Comedy, Drama, and Suspense
There are many films that are truly able to blend different genres and do it as well as this film does. It is a hilarious movie that has some very serious undertones in it. Many comedy films today would be terrified to touch subjects like being an alcoholic, having past regrets, divorce, and the problems of growing into adulthood… Well at least not in a way that will generate a real emotion instead of just being played for laughs.
At its barest level, it is a comedy first and foremost. But man, I doubt I have seen a better drama this year than The World’s End as well. You really feel for the five friends in the movie and their various problems and hardships and they are all very relatable. Everyone has that friend from high school who just never really went anywhere and lives in the past, there is always that guy who seems to have the perfect life but underneath it all is a broken man. You can understand these characters and their clear motivations even when faced with impending doom they keep pushing on.
Not to mention this is a film that had me laughing while I was on the edge of my seat. You just didn’t know what was coming next and they just kept throwing curve ball after curve ball at you. A film really succeeds when it makes you really feel a multitude of emotions as you are watching it and this film does that perfectly.
Just being the critic that I am, even if a plot hole or a loose end doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of the movie, I still can’t help but spot one when one pops up. If they are so big that it ruins the movie, well that could be a problem. But if it is a movie like Elysium I can kind of excuse it because it really wasn’t so distracting that it took me out of the film.
For The World’s End… Yeah it is flawless. I could not spot a single moment where the script left any loose ends, plot threads, or brushed aside moments. It covered all of its bases, it was one of the best written movies that I have personally ever seen. Hot Fuzz was like this as well. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg truly do not get the credit they deserve as screenwriters because these movies (a little less Shaun of the Dead) should be some of the standards that we set for screenwriting. The comedy never once talks down to anyone, it never once tries to dumb itself down, or anything like that. It is a tightly written script that explains or shows everything and is able to blend all of those different genres of movies into one insanely awesome film!
It Makes You Think About the World Around You and Takes a Rather Optimistic Approach to some Heavy Stuff (Spoilers)
This is the ending of the film so you have been warned. It turns out the robots were put their by aliens who are ‘preparing’ the human race to join a galactic collective. After the characters on the pub crawl tell them to fuck off and that is what they literally do, a EMP burst completely wipes out all electrical devises in existence thus catapulting humanity back into the dark ages. You might think that this is a downer ending… But actually Andie (Nick Frost) exposits that everyone is relatively happy. They don’t have the luxuries of electronics anymore and most of the cities are in rubble but people are making the best of their situation and even the blank robots have come back on and are attempting to blend in with society once again.
I love the way they take such a depressing subject as the utter destruction of the world as we know it and turn it into a relatively optimistic ending for all parties involved.
Edgar Wright has a very clear style to his film making that I for one truly enjoy. Anytime I see the close up quick cut shots of such a mundane task as pouring a pint of beer or a glass of water and make it look intense and interesting, I know I am watching an Edgar Wright movie. Anytime I see the suburban style wooden fences and the various characters hoping over them, I know I’m watching an Edgar Wright movie.
There is just so many different styles and techniques that Wright uses that adds a sort of unique charm to all of his films. I do enjoy it whenever directors stick to certain styles and motifs and keep them throughout their movies. I associate it with an artist signing their name at the bottom of their masterpiece. It is just a way of saying, this is clearly my movie.
What is With Edgar Wright’s Problems With Small Towns in the United Kingdom?
So yeah… I do wonder what keeps bringing Edgar Wright to have his movies set in a small town in the United Kingdom. Shaun of the Dead is the exception. But Hot Fuzz and The World’s End are both set in small towns in the UK’s countryside.
I could see it being the idea that this utopian paradise is not what it seems to be (As both movies are a testament to this). It could also be that something like robots taking over an entire town and a city killing anyone who attempts to besmirch the town’s name probably couldn’t happen in a place like London. It still just puzzles me and I would love to hear Wright’s reasoning behind it.
Overall, this film is phenomenal. Easily one of the best movies I have seen this year and quickly climbing its way into my favorite movies of all time. I’ll give it a little while before I give a final verdict on that, but for now I recommend that everyone go see this movie. It is hilarious, suspenseful, dramatic, and just an all around good time.
Final Score 4.5/5
Thank you for reading. Please if you enjoyed this review, like and subscribe for more. Also coming up this week I have one of the last chains in the Resident Evil retrospective Resident Evil 6 and the second episode of the Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth.