THE WORLD'S END
Starring: Simon Pegg and Nick Frost
Written by: Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright
Directed by: Edgar Wright
“The World’s End” opens today nationwide starring and written by Simon Pegg. Apocalyptic themes abound this year in Hollywood with films such as “Oblivion,” “Elysium,” “World War Z,” “After Earth,” “This Is the End,” and “R.I.P.D.” “The World’s End” follows right along this theme in comedic style. But at the end of the day (pun intended), will this film separate itself from the myriad number of its predecessors?
“The World’s End” is about, well, the end of the world. This film focuses on five friends who rather unwillingly reunite to accomplish a task gone unfinished from their days as seniors in high school: drink their way through 12 pubs in their hometown of Newton Haven, England. Twenty years have now passed and four of these five men have grown up and accomplished goals in their lives. The leader of their group is quite the opposite. He has not changed at all and continues to function as if in high school. With his encouragement and manipulation, they attempt to complete the “Golden Mile.” As they skip from pub to pub and drink pint after pint, they realize their town isn’t what it used to be. Even though it all looks the same, something is eerily different. The five finally realize that their town has been taken over by aliens! They must now somehow still accomplish their task of hitting all 12 pubs yet save the world at the same time.
“The World’s End” is in a line with the rest of the end of the world cinematic flops this year. The ridiculous premise of five friends drinking their way along the “Golden Mile” while trying to save their hides can be forgiven if the story is funny. It’s not. Yes, there are a few chuckles along the way such as witnessing the logic of the completely intoxicated and learning the term “Starbuck it.” The few literary and direct film rip-offs are funny as well. And Pegg does remember to weave concepts and lines from the beginning of the film into the middle and end, but if you don’t think endless drinking and fighting with robots/aliens is funny, then you might get bored. The childish humor and redundancy of scenes makes “The World’s End” continues on and on into oblivion (pun intended again) as there seems to be no end in sight. With the final summation of what is happening, you realize it’s not the final summation. There’s more. “The World’s End” just wouldn’t.
“The World’s End” is Simon Pegg’s movie all the way. Pegg plays Gary King, the leader of the pack. The rest of the cast just seems to be along for the ride. King is the guy from high school who just doesn’t grow up. He is continually absent in conversations, focusing on immature goals and bringing the group down to his level. Pegg seems very adept at playing this character as it is similar to so many of his other roles. Nick Frost plays Gary’s best friend, Andy Knightley, the rational one of the group. Most of these actors have starred in several other films together in the past and play their roles well, although the one dimensionality of each character isn’t exactly a challenge. PIerce Brosnan’s cameo brings some humor to the film, but not enough to make it worth-while.
When I entered the theater, there was an overwhelming aroma of beer and alcohol. This younger crowd seems to have properly prepared to view this film. “The World’s End” is a spoof film geared toward the generation that still parties hardy. There is a definite lack of substance and creativity which makes this film monotonous. The story feels as if it will truly never end even though the title promises that it will. The countless fight scenes and watching lots of people drink to excess becomes boring. As the pints are being poured, it makes one look forward to partaking in some libations afterward to make you forget you just spent 109 minutes of your time. Truly it seemed longer than that.