Fans of Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz may be a bit disappointed in Writer/Director Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. I’m one of those fans and I surely was. Perhaps there was too much anticipation, but the fault lies clearly in the slow build of the script, which was penned along with lead actor Simon Pegg and Wright’s somewhat tired direction. The beats were off and, although Pegg tried to keep the energy up with his manic character Gary King, the other actors from the initial two films seemed half asleep and Pegg, too often, went over the top to compensate.The object is to complete the Golden Mile of twelve pubs between dusk ‘til dawn, drinking a pint of ale at each before ending at The World’s End. The five Musketeers had failed in their attempt after graduation, but the alcoholic Gary King, who is the only one of the five not to have grown into adulthood sees fulfillment of this quest as the one way of giving his life meaning.
Now, that is sad. And, the film lumbers along until the team reaches The Crossed Hands, the fourth pub, when two interesting things happen. Firstly, Rosamund Pike enters the story as the sister of Oliver, one of the team. Pike, who has been excellent in every film she’s done since I first saw her in Pride & Prejudice, shows her comic chops and puts most of the tired team to shame. (Look for her as the lead in Gone Girl.)
From then on, the film becomes a chase in which, while most of the team wants to get out of town, Gary King wants to complete the Mile. And, finally, we are treated to great fun and action until the apocalyptic ending.
This film should have been a lot better, but I still give The World’s End a 3+ out of 5.
PS: I have to confess, that feeling cheated, I went to see We're The Millers for a second time to feel satisfied. Now, that's a real comic triumph!