FILM WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Edgar Wright STARRING: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike
This movie is AWESOME. I hate to shoot myself in the foot in the opening paragraph of this review, but this movie is seriously that good. This series (the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy) is one I hold in very high regard, not to say this film doesn’t have it’s faults (what film doesn’t?) But as a science-fiction film, this film ticks off all the boxes that makes a repeat viewing experience for me.
Out of all the stories that Edgar Wright has committed to film, only Scott Pilgrim vs. The World might eke out a better story than The World’s End. Simon Pegg as Gary King, an recovering addict attempting to relive his failed youth with attempting to complete this unfinished pub crawl. His performance shows how badly the rose-tinted glasses of the past can affect our future. However, my surprise was how the focus shifts mid-film from Gary to Andy (Nick Frost) as he first tries to avoid, then embraces the lunacy of Gary’s quest and ends up unleashing all his frustration on the unsuspecting robot invasion. This tonal shift definitely changes up the Frost/Pegg dynamic casting Nick Frost as the true hero for once instead an oafish sidekick.
Plot Score: 5 out of 5
Cinematography is up next, and as this is an Edgar Wright film, simply put: the man knows how to shoot a film. Building on the fast-paced, almost frenetic edits of seemingly mundane tasks like bathroom usage and breakfast (Shaun of the Dead) or pouring pints (Hot Fuzz) and the heavy close-ups when it comes to a brawl (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), this film brings out the best elements all of his films and weaves cinematic gold. The similar elements in all the pub sets play into not only a in-joke of the film, but also the worrying trend of homogeneity in popular culture. Camera work is tight, it doesn’t seem like there’s a frame being wasted at any point in this film. Thumbs up to the crew and editors of this film.
Cinematography Score: 5 Out of 5
Let’s start with the soundtrack: a raucous run from 90’s hard rock like The Sisters of Mercy to 70’s psychedelic rock icons, The Doors. The entirety of this musical accompaniment provides the proper feel to this story of good friends, good brews and good times. In addition to the rocking tunes, Steve Price creates a well-rounded secondary soundtrack that moves the film along with its eerie pacing. All in all, I’d buy the album and rock it in my car on my way to a pub crawl with the lads.
Soundtrack score: 4.5 out of 5
In summary, there are two ways of how I look at this film. 1.) How this holds up against the other films of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy and 2.) how it holds up against the director’s other films. With that said, here are my rankings...
The "Three FlavoursCornetto" Trilogy:
1.) Shaun of the Dead (2004)
2.) The World's End (2013)
3.) Hot Fuzz (2007)
While I love all these films, Hot Fuzz is extremely slow to pick up and really the last 20 minutes are the moments to remember. The World’s End is better in the sense that the action begins in the the second act and doesn't stop or falter. Shaun of the Dead, however invests us more emotionally in the characters and thus the third act and outcome are more cathartic to the moviegoer. Though if I was hard-pressed for which Edgar Wright film would be my favorite? Well…
EDGAR WRIGHT's FILMS:
1.) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (2010)
The World's End (2013)
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Hot Fuzz (2007)
Whereas Shaun of the Dead is my favorite of the Three Flavours trilogy, I have to admit The World’s End is a better shot film than it’s predecessors in the trilogy. However, it is not as well shot as Wright’s adaption of the Bryan Lee O’Malley's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Pilgrim is a whirlwind of violence, wit, humor and pop culture that few films have come close to matching, but none can best. The final word on The World’s End?
FINAL WORD ON The World's End (2013) : 5 OUT OF 5; REPEAT VIEWING, MUST-HAVE ON DVD.