Take your friend’s car, go to the movie theater, kill your dollar bills on over-priced popcorn and Milk Duds, grab a nice, cold pint, watch “The World’s End” and wait for all of this to blow over. How’s that for a slice of fried gold? Simon Pegg (“Star Trek Into Darkness”), Nick Frost (“Ice Age: Continental Drift”) and director Edgar Wright (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) are back again for a bloody, booze-filled night of apocalyptic proportions in “The World’s End.”
For those who did not get the opening lines of this review, that was a rough adaptation of dialogue from the 2004 film, “Shaun of the Dead,” the first film in the “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy (the other two being 2007′s “Hot Fuzz” and “The World’s End”). While none of the movies are directly related to each other, the three films are called the “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy because they are all directed by Wright, are co-written by Wright and Pegg and feature a Cornetto brand ice cream cone, as well as massive amounts of bloody violence and mayhem. There are also many thematic elements that link all of the films together. Each film features Pegg and Frost as best friends who overcome extreme, genre-specific obstacles that test and reaffirm their friendship to each other. Each film features almost the exact same cast as the film preceding it, which affirms the excellent storytelling of Pegg and Wright, who use the same pieces again and again to make something new, fresh and original, yet still satisfyingly familiar.
Pegg plays Gary King, a trench-coat-wearing, washed-up alcoholic stuck in the past. He tries to corral his four best friends from their hometown of Newton Haven for another go at “The Golden Mile,” an epic, 12-stop pub crawl that the gang failed to complete on their last day of high school some 20 years ago. While King tries to revive and relive his glory days of being “the local hotshot,” he and the gang find themselves in midst of a full-on robot/alien takeover of Earth.
The movie boasts a terrific cast, including a bevy of actors who have appeared in past Wright/Pegg projects, such as “Spaced,” “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” At the heart of the group, Pegg and Frost play two estranged best friends who had a massive falling-out after a huge incident that is incrementally revealed throughout the film. Fans will recognize actors from previous Wright projects, who are mixed into the story perfectly, including Martin Freeman (“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”) and Bill Nighy (“Jack the Giant Slayer”), who have now appeared in all three films.
And while this is the last and final film in the “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy, it actually has very little blood and ice cream. The action, however, is every bit as thrilling as it ever was in the trilogy’s first two films. The scene in which the Cornetto ice cream cone appears is brief and a bit of a letdown, if only because the audience is only shown the ice cream wrapper, void of any frozen, conical dairy deliciousness. That being said, watching the familiar, green-colored Cornetto wrapper blow in the wind and float offscreen is actually kind of touching, a momentary nod to the conclusion of a trilogy that began almost 10 years ago.
For any fan of Pegg, Wright and Frost, this movie is an absolute must-see. If you have never heard of any of these people but don’t mind British accents, enjoy science fiction or love witty and clever comedy, I highly recommend this film. “The World’s End” is a fantastic way to wrap up the legacy started by “Shaun of the Dead.”
4 out of 5 stars