Saturday, October 19, 2013

The World's End

The films (or "flavors") of Edgar Wright's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy are always a bit more than just comedic genre films. At their heart they are about relationships and coupled with Wright's more sophisticated brand of humor (dare I say "British humor"), one can see why critics, audiences, and cinephiles hold him in such high regard. He has spoken at length about how he and Simon Pegg were fans of some of the classic films of popular-culture when they were younger, but as they got older they realized that they cared more about the characters than the action scenes or special effects. For me, films like Jaws or The Exorcist can be admired for their jump-from-your-seat moments, but upon multiple re-watches I find myself concentrated on the performances and the as-written arc that these characters go through deserves quite a bit of credit.

Shaun of the Dead tackled zombies, Hot Fuzz dealt with buddy-cop movies, and now The World's End deals in alien-robot invasions and like the other two, Wright and Pegg's latest is as witty, quick, and fun as one would expect. The one thing that I really enjoyed (and in reference to what I mentioned above) was Simon Pegg's brilliantly hilarious and heartfelt performance as Gary King. Gary is completely selfish and is a screwup holding onto the past. As the film moves towards its conclusion, you realize how intimate of a portrayal Pegg has been giving the character throughout the entire movie. The character like the jokes, like the plot, like the intensity... just builds and builds and builds on itself til it reaches an appropriately and excitingly funny and dramatic crescendo. Wright has also assembled a great ensemble consisting of verstaile actors such as Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, and Rosamund Pike whose characters all might seem like they have their baggage more together then "the King", but they are also reflecting on lost youth and missed opportunities.

The World's End is surprisingly powerful when all is said and done and definitely worth a second watch.

(For anyone curious, I rank Wright's films as such- 1) Shaun of the Dead, 2) The World's End, 3), Hot Fuzz, and 4) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World).

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