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MikePA's Movie Reviews (137)

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The World's End 
Review: The World''s End
3.5/4 stars

"And we're back, just like the five musketeers!"

" Three musketeers, isn't it?"

Yes, it is the three musketeers - Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and director Edgar Wright. The hilarious British trio is back, delivering their epic finale to the fabulous "Blood and Ice Cream" (or "Cornetto," or "Rotten Tomatoes 91%) trilogy. I'm a huge admirer of Edgar Wright and his films. I think Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the previous two "Blood and Ice Cream" films, are absolutely marvelous. They're so well made and so damn funny that it's just ridiculous. He also made 2010's Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, which I find funny, clever, unique, enthralling, and entertaining as shit. Does The World's End live up to Wright's previously high standards?

The World's End follows a group of five guys - Gary King (Simon Pegg), Andy (Nick Frost), Oliver, or O-Man (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Peter (Eddie Marsan) - who return to their home town, Newton Haven, to complete an epic pub crawl that they had attempted when they were teenagers. What they do is go to each of the twelve uniquely named pubs (one called The Famous Cock), have a pint, and move on until they reach the 12th pub, The World's End. Three pubs in, it doesn't feel as exciting for them, especially Gary King, as it did when they were young lads, no matter how much King tries to amp it up. That's not the only problem, however. They soon start to realize that things don't quite feel right regarding the people of Newton Haven - which leads into insane craziness that could make their journey to The World's End much, much more threatening.

The World's End is terrific - an exceptionally crafted, really well acted, absolutely enjoyable addition and closure to an amazing series of films. What I love about this film (and Edgar Wright's films in general) is that it's full of so much wit and cleverness and fueled by insane energy. If there's one word to describe Wright's directing, it's energetic. With his films, especially The World's End (more notably in the second act, which I'll get into), he devotes a good portion of the beginning to plot and character development, but once he takes off, he does so at lightning speed and does not slow down. He keeps the pace fast, he sustains the kinetic energy throughout, and he gives his characters more than enough realization for the audience to actually care. There's even a few really heavy moments that are incredibly acted and, in the end, very effective - almost up there with the "sorry, mom" scene in Shaun of the Dead.

Like how Shaun of the Dead was nodding its head at the zombie film, and Hot Fuzz at the buddy cop film, The World's End focuses on science fiction. It's done pretty well, and I like that the climax is a bit of a turnaround. Normally, in any sci-fi action/adventure film, you'll have decently paced second act in preparation for the big action saved for the climax. Wright turns things around, making the second act much more bombastic and action-heavy and eventually breaking the energetic pace there, resulting in a climax that's much more heavier on characters. There's something about the dramatic richness and eventual calmness of the ending that makes it feel like a much more fitting conclusion to a beloved series. Wright focuses more on ending the series out with care rather than ending it out with a bang, and I appreciated that.

The performances are insanely good. Simon Pegg left me speechless. His character is a charged up, energetic human being who completely expresses the little kid inside of him. Pegg nails it. Nothing's been more fun this summer than watching Gary King bounce off the walls. Nick Frost is very good too as the sophisticated business man who just does not want to deal with Gary's crap. He starts off calm but slowly turns more toward the crazy side, and it was nice seeing that transition timed so well and played wonderfully by Frost.

But the star of the film is Wright's directing. The film is so well written, acted, and directed. It features wonderful special effects and cinematography, a terrific soundtrack, lots of clever references and dialogue, and an ending that is totally satisfying for the fans of the series. Please go see it. It made a puny 8.8 million on its opening weekend. It deserves a much larger audience than that.

3.5/4


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