The World’s End
dir Edgar Wright
scr Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright
prd Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Nira Park
with Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine, Rosamund Pike, Pierce Brosnan, David Bradley, Michael Smiley, Reece Shearsmith, Thomas Law, Bill Nighy
release UK 19.Jul.13, US 23.Aug.13
13/UK Universal 1h49
The World's End
The boys are back: Frost, Marsan, Pegg, Considine and Freeman

pike brosnan bradley
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The World's End For the third entry in their Cornetto Trilogy, Pegg and Wright once again twist British society in sublimely silly ways. The script is a riot of relationship comedy, cultural observations and insane action. Its freewheeling humour and warm characters are a lot of fun, even when the plot runs out of steam in the final act.

It's been more than 20 years since Gary (Pegg) and his pals Andy, Ollie, Pete and Steve (Frost, Freeman, Marsan and Considine) failed to complete an epic pub crawl their hometown of Newton Haven, and Gary's determined to set that right. He still behaves like a teen, so it takes awhile to convince his friends to leave their grown-up lives for a weekend. But they all join him, and after a few pints notice that people are behaving rather strangely, as if Newton Haven has turned into Stepford. So they continue getting blind drunk.

The genius of Pegg and Wright's approach is that they keep the relational comedy moving forward even as the action plot spirals out of control. In the face of startling evidence that the end of humanity is nigh, these guys simply carry on working out their friendships. Along the way, they encounter familiar faces from their past, including a teacher (Brosnan), a crazy old man (Bradley), the "Reverend" (Smiley) and Oliver's sister Sam (Pike), who shocks Gary by refusing to pick up where they left off.

The film charges along so quickly that we feel like we barely have time to register a joke before three more witty gags and silly puns are upon us. And the action scenes are just as frenetic, leaving us both amused and bewildered. And amid the Body Snatchers mayhem there's a lot of astute observational humour about British culture. Accompanied by great late-80s/early-90s music.

But aside from the nostalgia of middle-aged people trying to make up for their youthful failings, there isn't much to grab hold of. The actors are all terrific, adding zinging touches to every scene. Pegg is especially notable, bravely playing Gary as a childish idiot who's happy to drag his old friends into all kinds of trouble. So we sit back and laugh at the inspired chaos. Even if it's ultimately forgettable, it's sometimes apocalyptically funny.

cert 15 themes, language, violence 8.Jul.13

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