Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The World’s End

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references
Profanity:Constant very strong and crude language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references, some crude
Alcohol/Drugs:The theme of the film is a pub crawl intended to make the characters very drunk, drinking and drunkenness, drugs, drug dealer
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril and violence with some graphic images
Diversity Issues:Homophobic insult
Movie Release Date:August 23, 2013
DVD Release Date:November 18, 2013

world's endSimon Pegg, Nick Frost, and co-writer/director Edgar Wright have re-united for the third in the genre-bending “Cornetto” series, which I refuse to call a “trilogy” because I want them to keep going.  In case you’re listening, guys: Please.

“Shaun of the Dead” was a romantic comedy with zombies and strawberry Cornetto ice cream.  “Hot Fuzz” was a sort of deranged meta-buddy cop film with blue Cornetto ice cream.  And now we have “The World’s End,” a comedy about a group of high school friends who get together to re-create a legendary pub crawl in their suburban home town.  Twenty years after their high school graduation, they go back home to have a pint in each of the twelve pubs that constitute the “golden mile,” concluding at one called The World’s End.  And yes, that is foreshadowing.

Things go badly.  Things are not as they remembered.  When the group arrive at the first pub on the list, it is depressingly generic.  In the decades since they left, everything has been homogenized into sterile, interchangeably dull corporate decor.  The second one is indistinguishable  from the first.  Gary has always cherished the notion that they were legends in the town.  But no one seems to remember them, not even the high school bully.

Then the robot aliens show up and things get worse.

Co-write Pegg plays Gary King, who is now only dimly realizing that the qualities that lead to popularity in high school do not equip one for success thereafter.  This is particularly the case when those qualities are essentially limited to creating the kind of experiences that result in watching the sun come up with bloody knuckles, a hangover, and vomit on your shoes.  You can still do that after high school, as Gary’s current status as an inpatient in a substance abuse clinic attest.  It’s just that it no longer makes him a hero to his friends.  Now all respectable men with jobs and, for most of them, families, they have moved on and have no interest in going back.

But Gary, who thinks he lost his way when they failed to make it to all twelve pubs in “the golden mile,” manages to persuade the other four to come with him and try it again.  For no other reason except for pity, survivor guilt, and perhaps some wish to revisit a carefree past, they decide to come along.  It is possible, though, that they envy Gary’s freedom as they are constantly checking with their watches, their phones, and their wives.  There’s car dealer Peter Page  (Eddie Marsan — all of the characters have royal court-related names),  realtor with a permanently embedded bluetooth earpiece Oliver Chamberlain (Martin Freeman of “The Hobbit”), recently divorced Steven Prince (Paddy Considine), and Gary’s former best friend Andy Knightly (Nick Frost), whose hostility indicates that a revelation about some horrible misdeed lies ahead.  Also in town is Sam Chamberlain (Rosamund Pike), Oliver’s sister, who was there for an important part of the legendary pub crawl in 1990.

Gary is darker than the previous roles Pegg wrote for himself, which mostly had him as an amiable, if immature and socially inept doofus (although in “Hot Fuzz” he was a very buff and straight arrow variation).  He clearly relishes playing a completely dissolute character who cannot seem to figure out why a system of doing or saying whatever will get him what he wants at that moment without any regard to the consequences for himself or others is not working for him anymore.  It is also good to see Frost playing something different as well.  His Andy is responsible, dignified, and quietly competent and confident.  He also turns out to be very good at fighting the robot aliens.

It’s a delicious mix of understated British humor and over-the-top craziness, with witty lines, some knowing digs at Hollywood, and razor-sharp satire.  It also has the only credible explanation for hideous public sculpture I’ve ever seen.  I hope they end up with at least as many in the series as there are flavors of Cornetto ice cream treats.

Parents should know that this film has constant bad language, including crude sexual references and a homophobic insult, a lot of drinking and drunkenness, drugs, and mostly comic peril and violence with some disturbing images.

Family discussion:  Why did Gary’s friends agree to come back?  Why was the pub crawl important to Gary?

If you like this, try: “Shaun of the Dead,” “Hot Fuzz,” “Paul,” and the television series “Spaced”



Previous Posts

Actors Of Color Discuss Racial Stereotypes In Hollywood
Film Courage produced this excellent and very compelling film with actors of color talking about the challenges they face in Hollywood. If we did a better job of representing diversity in film, we would not just tell better stories and tell stories better, we would make better progress toward under

posted 8:00:49am Dec. 19, 2014 | read full post »

Annie
The story of the plucky little Depression-era orphan with the curly red hair has been not just re-booted but re-imagined into the world of rent-a-bikes, viral videos, DNA tests, YOLO, corpora

posted 5:59:13pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Fans of the first two "Night at the Museum" films will like this one because it is pretty much the same film. They go to another museum, this time the British Museum in London, and the exhibi

posted 5:23:46pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Listen to People's Lives: David Plotz's Working Podcast
Former Slate editor David Plotz, now at Atlas Obscura, says that he is a big fan of Studs Terkel's classic book Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day and How They Feel About What They Do. He has paid tribute to that great work in the best possible way, by updating it with his podcast seri

posted 3:59:23pm Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Little Orphan Annie: From Comic Strip to Radio, Broadway, Television, and Two Movies
The spunky little girl with the curly red hair and a dog named Sandy began as Little Orphan Annie in 1924, created by Harold Gray.  Her pluck, self-sufficiency, and resilience cau

posted 8:00:48am Dec. 18, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.