This past weekend we were lucky enough to both have time to take in a movie. It's been likely about 2 years (!) since we went to the movies. This is mostly due to the fact that most movies are not that interesting to us (especially if they cost $12/person! Yikes!) but we were lucky enough to get a gift card from my mother-in-law. When I heard that The World's End was coming out, I was thrilled to finally have a movie Alex and I were both interested in. We both loved Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, so we thought this one was right up our alley. I also listened to one review on NPR, and the guy raved about this movie - saying it was the best one of the three - now that's high praise!
And, I have to say, I think the critics were right. Simone Pegg and Nick Frost are genius together. The humor is spot on (and very British) and the plotline is hysterical. I listened to an interview with Pegg and Frost and they talked about British film-making a bit. They had lamented that every film tries to be a hit in Britain and the US, and so they try to make jokes that fly in both countries. This turns out to create flat, one-dimensional movies that appeal to neither country. I tend to agree. It's odd to hear a distinctly American joke come from a person with an English accent (and vice versa, I am sure). The World's End, however, nails the British point of view, and creates a story that all people can understand and relate to.
The World's End follows Gary King, a sincerely messed up individual whose crowning glory was high school. He's now about 40, and wants to get his old mates back together for one last pub crawl in their old home-town. Of course, he hasn't talked to any of them in ages, and everyone has a wife and kids, good jobs, homes, and responsibilities. King has none of these, but he possesses a charismatic charm that causes the guys to follow along. They all meet up for a weekend pub crawl - "The Golden Mile", 12 pubs, one mile, and at least a pint of beer at each. What follows are so many amazing commentaries, it was almost dizzying. Firstly, King resembles "That guy" - you know, that guy you might occasionally run into when you're home - that guy who still acts like an 18 year old, even though he's approaching 40 - that guy who buys shots for everyone just hanging out and enjoying a beer - that guy who makes you slightly uncomfortable - you know, that guy. Pegg nails that guy to a T, creating uncomfortable (yet funny) situations all over the place. The other guys are all struggling in their own right - tough marriages, lingering resentment from being bullied in high school, nostalgia, etc. Returning home is both a great plan and an awful plan, and things soon go amazingly awry. What follows is a classic Pegg/Frost combo, with gratuitous violence, action, comedy and social commentary weaved brilliantly throughout the movie. Both Alex and I loved it and found it to be brilliantly done and extremely entertaining. Honestly, it made me want to watch their previous movies once again. I highly, highly recommend this movie, whether you go see it in theatres or wait for the DVD, it's well worth those 90 minutes in entertainment.