The World’s End

I’ve liked Simon Pegg for a few years now, but after seeing this movie, I feel like I truly love him. And I may or may not have dated Gary King if we grew up together, because at 19, he wore a trench coat and at 39, still does. Somehow it’s attractive.

The first 40-some-odd minutes of this movie had me in hysterics, mostly because of Pegg. He had witty come-backs for everything, despite playing the least-together character of the bunch. Compared to the others, Gary King lived a sad, lonely, alcoholic life, but with the fiery repartee of Pegg built in, he still seemed glamourous and magnetic. Words like “repaste” were tossed around with brilliant ease, and eye darts and hand motions spontaneously enhanced every dig and insult. Pegg’s comedy has really aged well. Whereas Nick Frost has allowed his mature side to come out and play, and it’s also pretty fun to watch. As Andy, he did the suit-glasses-job guy well, the guy who had been hurt most (physically and mentally) by Gary’s teenage antics. The other three, Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Peter (Eddie Marsan), also fit the normal-guy bill, but slowly loosened up as the five friends, having grown apart since their youth, reunited to complete a pub crawl through their hometown. I especially liked Steven, but maybe that’s just because of Considine’s slight resemblance to Steve Coogan, who should be in every movie always.

Shit got beery, first, and then it got weird. Like, robot weird. Pegg, Frost, and Edgar Wright (the director/mastermind) are known for putting their own twist on specific film genres, and The World’s End certainly did not disappoint–the fight scenes were loads of fun to watch, and always thrilling–but there was something off about those robots. I mean, I know there’s always something off about robots, or aliens, or other generally invasive fictional races, but these robots, which invaded the gents’ hometown and replaced everyone they knew with exact copies. They weren’t particularly scary-looking; when they were maimed, they simply squirted paint-blue “blood,” or their appendages popped off like lego segments. And even when they went into terror-mode, or whatever you want to call non-human overdrive, they just got stronger and their eyes and mouths lit up. I think I was just expecting them to be scarier, more ominous, less prop-looking. I wanted to be scared by them, even in the context of a funny movie. They came across like toys that were easy to defeat, and so my disbelief was hard to suspend. Maybe I’m cynical, or I expect more from CGI. I also know that these movies are supposed to be low-budget and all that. I just sense an imbalance is all.

The ending of the movie also confused me; as you might imagine, with a title like The World’s End, everything went to shite. And somehow Gary King wound up with a small group of robot kids following him everywhere. It didn’t exactly fit together in my mind. Again, maybe I was hoping for something more obvious; Gary cleans up his act, Gary lives with Andy and his family, Gary dies. Instead, he shaves his face and continues being a nuisance?

These are trivial matters, thought, especially when it comes to a comedy. I’d like to watch this movie again, and often, and I will.