Written by / 8/28/2013 / No comments / , , , , , ,

THE WORLD'S END

year: 2013 cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine rating: ***1/2
Simon Pegg’s Gary King seeks out four childhood friends to hit twelve pubs, attempting to drink a pint of beer in each – leading to THE WORLD’S END, a location with (it turns out) an extremely literal name.

The sequence where King recruits each friend for the ritual quest, who are now stuffy grown ups, and as the first few pubs, altered from the past, are revisited, the characters fit like old comfortable shoes. Then, after the progressive buzz of getting uncomfortably reacquainted, the plot erupts like a thunderous volcano...

You’ll almost wish the robotic humanoid aliens with gushing blue blood didn’t enter the story so soon, turning the get-together into something resembling INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS meets FROM DUSK TILL DAWN with director Edgar Wright's SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ as an obvious springboard.

Pegg's confidently immature/unapologetically sarcastic King is the life of a party that died long ago, and his rogue personality, clashing with his stuffy friends – especially Nick Frost’s stubbornly normal Andy Knightly – is the real stuff here. When the story turns from character-driven to action-based, with repetitive fights reveling in bombastic blows (how did these regular Joes become Bruce Lee?) within each smashed-up interior, something personal gets lost in the mix.

The over-explanation about who’s taking over the Earth and why could make this a difficult (if futile) second viewing, yet it’s a journey that will keep you entertained. Pegg, despite the talented supporting ensemble, is a one-man show: The neon bright theme about becoming a mature adult, along with the stubborn determination to visit each pub despite many intrusions, human or otherwise, remains entirely his own.
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