The World's End (R)

Comedy 109 min. August 23, 2013
By Stephanie Zacharek
The laddish pleasures of The World's End, Edgar Wright's comedy about middle-aged guys drinking beer and facing mortality, come with a bittersweet edge. In the old days, the lead character, Gary King, used to be the coolest kid in his school, at least in the outlaw sense: He'd strut through his English town in a black coat and Sisters of Mercy T-shirt, and the establishment could kiss his royal arse. Except it didn't. Cut to the present, where Gary, jobless and aimless, gets his old mates together so they can complete the massive pub crawl they'd begun, though never finished, 20-odd years earlier. The present-day Gary, played by Simon Pegg, has kept the coat and the T-shirt. The clothes still fit him; what he can't see is that they no longer suit him. But wait-- that makes The World's End, the third comedy from the writing team of Pegg and Wright, sound way too serious. And it's really only sort of serious, when it's not being totally ridiculous. Like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, The World's End is a big, shaggy dog of a thing, a free-spirited ramble held together by off-kilter asides, clever-dumb puns, and seemingly random bits of dialogue that could almost become catchphrases in spite of themselves. (Since seeing The World's End I've often found myself muttering, for no earthly reason, "Fuck off, you big lamp!") Like Shaun of the Dead, The World's End also features a supernatural element, though Wright has begged critics not to give too much of it away. But he never said we couldn't call it Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Diner, so there you go.
Edgar Wright Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Nira Park Focus Features


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