“The World’s End (2013)” Review

Another film from the past 5 years that I’ve been meaning to watch…

Why did I watch it?

As far as I’m concerned, the sitcom Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg did with Jessica Stephenson, Spaced, is one of the 10 best of all time. On the strength of it, I watched their first two films, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. This is the third in the ‘Cornetto’ trilogy.

Did it meet expectations?

You may have detected a slight lack of enthusiasm for the two previous films in the last paragraphs. While I like the concept of these genre films set in very suburban London or the home counties (Cockneys vs Zombies is another one) the only one that’s sustained its feature running time, in my opinion, is Attack the Block (which Wright exec produced, and Cornetto stalwart Nick Frost stars in).

That’s not to deny there’s a lot to enjoy. It’s a strong cast, and Simon Pegg’s hugely energetic performance as an obsessive 40 year old teenager is a pleasure to watch. Among the supporting cast the very lovely Rosamund Pike is reunited with her co-star from Die Another Day Pierce Brosnan (thankfully with much better results).

And while main plot displays rather less logic than a typical episode of Doctor Who, the premise and the characters are intriguing, engaging, and, occasionally, affecting enough to sustain the exploration of lost youth.

It’s just that, along with the previous films, this feels to me like it would have made a fine 30 or 45 minute episode of an anthology series. Padded out with set pieces, undeniably impressive though they are, it loses some of its narrative coherence.

You should watch it if…

  • You thought the previous Cornetto films were brilliant.
  • You enjoy slick and well choreographed action pastiche.
  • You grew up somewhere like Newton Haven.

You shouldn’t watch it if…

  • You think 40 year olds behaving like teenagers is unbearable.
  • You like your alien invaders to have some kind of thought-through plan.
  • You live somewhere like Newton Haven.

Next up: Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

About Simon Wood

Lecturer in medical education, lapsed mathematician, Doctor Who fan and garden railway builder. See simonwood.info for more...

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