Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The World's End (Rhoades)

“The World’s End”
Completes Trilogy

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Ever done a pub crawl? Y’know, drinking from one bar to the next with your friends? I did it once with a bloke from London. A mistake. I think the British are bred for this. I ended up with my face in a puddle of beer.

In “The World’s End” -- the new science-fiction comedy that’s currently playing at the Tropic Cinema -- five friends reunite to do an infamous pub crawl in Newton Haven, a small town in England. This so-called Golden Mile consists of 12 pubs, starting with The First Post and finishing with The World’s End.

The names of the pubs foreshadow events in the film, almost like chapter headings.
Director Edgar Wright explains the plot. “If you live in a small town and you move to London, which I did when I was 20, then when you go back out into the other small towns in England you go ‘Oh my god, it’s all the same!’ It’s like ‘Bodysnatchers.’ Literally our towns are being changed to death.”
In the case of “The World’s End,” the pub crawlers’ hometown is being taken over by robots from outer space.

Silly, yes? It’s supposed to be. This is the third film in a trilogy that includes the brilliant satires “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” -- brought to you by Wright and his two pals Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

You’ll recognize Pegg as Scotty in the new “Star Trek” movies. And he and Frost did another sci-fi comedy call “Paul,” about an alien who escapes from Area 51.

Here, the five friends uncover a plot by alien robots to take over the earth, stealing humans’ DNA and assuming their place -- like those pod people in “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers.”
The five friends consist of Gary (Pegg), Andrew (Frost), Steven (Paddy Considine), Peter (Eddie Marsan), and Oliver (Martin Freeman). Toss in Sam (Rosamund Pike) as the Oliver’s sister, the beauty the boys lust after.

Seems all of the guys have moved on with their lives, except for Gary, a sad case of arrested development. He’s the one who pulls his old pals together for the pub crawl, an attempt to reach the World’s End, a challenge they’d failed to achieve as teenagers.

This time around, Gary is determined to prove himself, refusing to be deterred even by an army of robots.

You’ll laugh while watching the world as we know it reach its end.

Some people might compare this film to Seth Rogan’s “This Is the End.”

“We always knew theirs was a Biblical apocalypse,” says Edgar Wright. “Ours is science fiction – a different story. The similarities begin and end with the word ‘End’.”

He struggles for more differences. “Theirs couldn’t be more American,” exclaims Wright, “and ours couldn’t be more British!”

This lack of competition between apocalyptic comedies stems from the fact that, as Pegg puts it, “They’re friends of ours.” (You’ll recall that Seth Rogan co-starred with them in “Paul,” doing the voice of the runaway alien.)

Funny guys. I wouldn’t mind going on a pub crawl with Pegg and Rogan. But I’m sure I wouldn’t make it to … the end.

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