The last film of the Cornetto trilogy by Edgar Wright is The World’s End which was released in 2013. In Shaun Of The Dead (2004) the Cornetto was red (strawberry flavor) to symbolize the blood of the zombies. In Hot Fuzz (2007) it was vanilla with a blue wrap, the color of the police. Here it’s a mint-flavored Cornetto, as green’s a classic color associated with UFOs and aliens. Thus, the third chapter of the trilogy brings science fiction to the British pub dimension!
Although it’s yet another movie extremely well-crafted, this is probably the weakest of the three, the one in which, perhaps due to some over-confidence of the whole group of historical collaborators, Wright relaxed a little and didn’t strive to reach excellence. Naturally, the script is once again carefully written: for example, the plot of the film is laid out at the beginning when recalling the historic last night out of the group of friends, a journey which will be repeated but where everything will have a different meaning. Then, the completely over the top finale concludes adequately both the movie and the trilogy!
In The World’s End, the forty-year-old Gary King (Simon Pegg) reunites with his old friends (including the usual Nick Frost and Martin Freeman, with the latter finally having a more substantial part after his cameos in the first two chapters of the trilogy) twenty years after their last night out together when they attempted to visit all the twelve pubs of Newton Haven, their hometown. King was a cool guy twenty years before, but he hasn’t changed a bit: he dresses the same way, he listens to the same tapes… and he’s an alcoholic. It makes me shiver to write the plot of this movie knowing that Simon Pegg admitted recently solved his alcoholism-related issues and stated that writing this script was a way to ask for help, a way of admitting his problem. But I digress.
The pub crawl proves incredibly similar to that of twenty years before, but our heroes soon find out that the people of Newton Haven haven’t changed at all because… they’ve been replaced by androids. And here I stop to avoid further spoilers!
Let me say that there’s nothing wrong with this film: the actors are all very good, Wright continues to amaze with his directorial skills, the editing is once again very tight, the soundtrack is enjoyable… It’s just that, unlike Shaun Of The Dead which is a great comedy and at the same time a fantastic zombie movie, and Hot Fuzz which is a great comedy and also a fantastic buddy movie, it’s hard to declare The World’s End to be a fantastic science fiction movie. The comedy part is once again convincing, with many funny moments especially in the first part, but the science fiction part doesn’t really stand on its own.
The World’s End is therefore a tribute to the genre which fails to enter among its most illustrious examples. Having said that, I watched the film several times and I always enjoyed it, but I think that the first part, more on the comedy side, is much stronger than the second sci-fi part. Like in Hot Fuzz, the names of the characters all have a meaning, and this time even the names of the pubs anticipate what to expect in each of them. And there are lots of references to science fiction films! For instance, the androids have their faces light up just like the alien in the poster for John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982). The theme of the movie is also close to that of John Carpenter’s masterpiece in which the alien replaced the persons of the Antarctica outpost one by one. More in general, the alien conspiracy is a great classic of the genre (without going too far, think of They Live, 1988, also by Carpenter).
In short, there’s quality, there’s fun, but the feeling is that it’s the worst chapter of the Cornetto trilogy. Which doesn’t mean that it’s not a good movie! Ciao!