Sunday, August 25, 2013

Blood and Ice Cream and Fine Comedy: The World's End Review

   In a summer laced with unnecessary nudity, cheap shock-humor, and mega-flop blockbusters, The World’s End stands alone. It delivers a tight, thrilling, and absolutely hilarious movie-going experience. It is a knock-out ending to the terrific Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, and it is absolutely the best movie of the summer.
   Like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz before it, The World’s End combines rough action with brilliant comedy—this time, telling the story of a group of buddies who attempt to finish a legendary pub crawl in the midst of an alien invasion. Simon Pegg plays the inflated and conceited Gary King, the self-proclaimed leader of the gang, while Three Flavours-compatriot Nick Frost plays his (initially) straight-laced childhood friend. Martin Freeman, Pierce Brosnan, and the ever-present Bill Nighy round out a terrific cast, and while it would seem that The World’s End is primed to fall for the usual film clichés that we see in the old-guys-relive-the-glory-days stories, it does anything but that. Too old for this sh**? Not here. The movie does not even take a sniff in that direction—incredibly refreshing.
   This is perhaps most indicative in the fact that The World’s End approaches its action irreverently and intelligently—these sequences are truly fun to watch, and some of the finishing moves that the gang pulls on their adversaries are badass, insane, and just damn cool. Ever see an alien split in half over a urinal or become the victim of a Nick Frost pile-driver? I sure have, and I loved every freaking second of it.
   Of course, the reason any of us will venture out to see this flick is for the laughs, and wow, does the film deliver. Instead of relying on trite sight-gags or forgettable crass humor, the writing here takes a smart, genuine approach. The comedy here is pure, consistent, and versatile; a laugh can come from dialogue just as easily as it can come from the goofy mannerisms and actions of the characters (and never fear, trilogy fans, the old fence gag is back!). Snappy lines and witty exchanges run aplenty, and in a year full of less-than-stellar efforts, it is brilliant to see such excellent writing coming from people who are just so intrinsically funny. Forget funniest comedy of the summer—it might be the funniest movie of the year.
   The plethora of laughs is primarily supplied by our two leads, and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost assert themselves in this flick as one of the best comedy duos of our time. Their chemistry is terrific—a result of them being real-life friends—and when the movie takes its emotional turns, they play the buddy-buddy scenes so well that it is perfectly impossible not to cheer for them. They are the absolute stars of their own show, and director Wright more than gives them their due. These guys have given us three terrific movies (and Paul, but come on, for the sake of the moment, I think we can all just brush that one aside), and seeing them go out on such a high note is going to really satisfy fans.
   If there is anything negative to say about this flick, it is that the final act might be a tad up-and-down in balancing its emotion and comedy, but not to worry, because the “low points” only feel as such because the highs are just so darn good. Indeed, the climax of The World’s End might deliver the single best comedy scene since the infamous tuna exchange from The Other Guys. I still laugh when I think about this one—inspired comedy at its finest.
   The World’s End simply does not mess around. It is here to bring fun action and big laughs, and it delivers both in droves. The emotional scenes are tight and to-the-point, without a bunch of oversaturated dialogue or cornball direction. More than anything, though, this film is a triumph for Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who not only give the audience another satisfying and grounded buddy-flick, but cement themselves as one of the greatest comedy duos of the modern age.

   It is useless arguing—The World’s End kicks a lot of ass, takes a lot of names, and is terrifically charming and funny. The conclusion of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy might just be the best of the three. It earns a 9 out of 10, and stands as the greatest movie of the summer. Go and see it—it deserves your attention. 

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