The World’s End is the third and final film in what has been tagged as the ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ by its creators Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright, which also features the hit films Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz.
The film follows a similar path to Hot Fuzz in that it is set in a small secluded village, with The World’s End being set in Herefordshire’s Newton Haven. The film follows Gary King (Simon Pegg) and his four childhood friends Oliver (Martin Freeman), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Andrew Knightly (Nick Frost). The fivesome embark upon the task of completing the ultimate bar-crawl, which sets the challenge of drinking twelve pints in twelve pubs in one night, finishing at the The World’s End pub. They tried and failed when they were teenagers, and Gary, determined to put this failure right, sets upon reuniting his team of misfits to complete the mission. What he finds, however, is a reluctant bunch of men who, unlike himself, have grown up and moved on with their lives, leaving King struggling to accept his new found mature, reality stricken friends.
The innocent looking village they enter is not all that it appears. Something strange is afoot, of which the gang stumble upon in a typically drunken fashion. Despite what happens to the gang of middle-aged men, King is determined to finish what he came to the village to complete, despite the increasing obstacles, and it appears, at whatever cost. The journey to The World’s End is a literal one for King, who at first sees the trip as a way to forget his past, finds it actually opens his eyes to the reality of his future.
Drunken tales of sexual conquests and teenage mischief, added with a dashing of kick ass Edgar-esq fight sequences, makes The World’s End an enjoyable sci-fi comedy that takes its rightful place as the final piece of the Cornetto Trilogy jigsaw. It does not quite live up to the high standards of Hot Fuzz in terms of its insane, outlandish comedy-action that saw an entire village turn into ravenous murders, but it keeps to a similar spirit, albeit in a more subdued fashion. The inclusion of another former Bond in Pierce Brosnan as Guy Shephard is another nod to Pegg and Wrights’ previous collaboration, but as with the rest of the film, it does not quite reach the same standards as Timothy Dalton’s hilarious portrayal of supermarket owner Simon Skinner. The World’s End follows on well from Hot Fuzz, but lacks the sinister charm its predecessor had in abundance.