The World’s End – Film Review

The World's End

It has felt like a long wait for The World’s End, the third film directed by Edgar Wright, produced by Nira Park and starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, in a series loosely characterised as “genres the British don’t often do, done in a very British way”. The World’s End is also the weakest film of the three, but that’s not to say it isn’t good fun for your money.

Gary King (Pegg) is a man who, numerically at least, is in his forties. However, in his head he’s still 18. The World’s End is absolutely steeped in late 80s/early 90s nostalgia, with a soundtrack loaded with Blur, Happy Mondays, James, The Stone Roses and, incredibly, Soup Dragons. Gary King still plays the mix tape his friend, Steven (the always wonderful Paddy Considine), made for him when they were teenagers because in his last days of school Gary was popular, invincible and had the world at his feet. Now an alcoholic clinging to his glory days, nothing is going to make him grow up.

Drink Up It's The Word's End

Except maybe, just maybe, he will if he manages to complete the Golden Mile: a pub crawl of the 12 pubs in his hometown. Gary dates his adult failures back to when he and his four friends bailed from the crawl at pub nine and is now determined to fix his mistakes. He goes back to those four friends, Andy (Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver “O-man” (Martin Freeman) and Steven, now with adult lives they seem perfectly happy with, and convinces them to go back to Newton Haven with him to complete what they started. Joining them is Rosamund Pike as Sam, Oliver’s sister and Gary’s one-time shag. Getting in the way of this quest is the small matter of an attempted alien invasion.

For those not familiar with the so-called Cornetto Trilogy, each film takes the form of a buddy comedy accompanied by over-the-top action. The preceding film, a cop action flick called Hot Fuzz, was released over six years ago. Shaun of the Dead, a zombie film, appeared on screen three years before that. And the television series that kickstarted it all off, Spaced, started airing on Channel 4 in 1999. I recorded each episode (on VHS!) to watch after I got home from drinking in the pub on Friday nights with my teenage friends. My entire adult life has been peppered with Wright-Pegg-Frost offerings and if any review is going to date me, it’s this one.

The Cornetto Trilogy

I mention this because just like Hot Fuzz did back in 2007, The World’s End carried a lot of expectation. The difference is that while HF surpassed my expectations; TWE failed to meet them. However, if TWE had followed Shaun of the Dead, I probably would have been pleased. Not thrilled and certainly not desperate to go right back into the cinema and watch it again, but I would have been satisfied. This is because TWE is essentially Shaun but with a much bigger budget. It’s funny, shows off some good action sequences and strong lead performances but has absolutely no plot and lacks a lot of the charm of Shaun. What TWE has gained in special effects, it has lost in emotional resonance. Although the flashbacks to the teenage gang are quite endearing.

What The World’s End also lacks are any truly stand-out moments. I am struggling to think of anything that had the same sense of fun as Shaun and Ed throwing vinyl at zombies, or the same whole-cinema-gasps-out-loud factor as Nicholas Angel knocking out an old lady with a flying kick. What it does have are some unexpected turns, a lot of laughs and too many lengthy monologues. Nick Frost puts in a sympathetic performance as the long-suffering Andy, Gary’s best friend back in the day and it’s fun to identify the recurring actors from the previous films: there’s probably a drinking game in spotting them. You’ll also get Wright’s manic, eye-popping direction and the running gags are a delight. Yet Simon Pegg should probably stick to playing nice guys. Not once did I believe Gary’s motivations.

The World’s End will keep you entertained and it steams by pretty quickly for its running time but as Gary King keeps pushing his friends to continue his quest to complete the Golden Mile, the reasons for complying, and the plot, get thinner. It’s been a brilliant ride but no more Cornettos please*; it’s time to grow up.

*I don’t mean this literally. If anyone wants to send me some mint Cornettos this summer, I will happily take them up on it.

Out Now – 19th July 2013

Breathe In

The World’s End
When Shaun of the Dead was released nine years ago I went with some friends to the cinema on Easter weekend. I distinctly remember buying everyone a Cadbury’s Creme Egg, what a guy! I was so blown away by it that when Hot Fuzz came out three years later I travelled via Megabus from Cardiff to see it at a preview screening at the ICA hosted by Wright, Pegg, and Frost. Now with The World’s End in cinemas the younger version of myself is probably distraught that I haven’t already seen the film at a midnight screening. Ah well, we get older, and I’ll still be seeing it this weekend. EXCITED!

Breathe In
The two head honchos here at Mild Concern have harboured entirely professional crushes on Felicity Jones and Guy Pearce for years and so the combination of their acting talents in Drake Doremus’ second feature about forbidden desire is too tempting for us to pass up. I couldn’t bring myself to harm a pixel in the image above. I am so weak.

The Frozen Ground
Alaska State Trooper Nicholas Cage is on the hunt for serial killer John Cusack with the help of Vanessa Hudgens who managed to escape his clutches. Also starring 50 Cent as Pimp Clate Johnson. I don’t know if he is a pimp or just has a very unfortunate first name.

Roman Holiday (limited re-release)
Classic comedy starring Audrey Hepburn gets re-released 60 years after its original arrival. Winner of three Oscars and a U certificate; beware the “very mild fight scene”.

Wadjda (limited release)
“An enterprising Saudi girl signs off for her school’s Koran recitation competition as a way to raise the remaining funds she needs in order to buy the green bicycle that has captured her interest.” Apparently in a recitation competition you have to memorise a poem or passage. “Twas brillig…”

Easy Money (limited release)
Serbian crime thriller with a plot synopsis that confused me greatly. Suffice it to say that drugs and guns are involved. And Martin Scorsese too somehow.

Eden (limited release)
“A young Korean-American girl, abducted and forced into prostitution by domestic human traffickers, joins forces with her captors in a desperate plea to survive.” Sounds like an aggressive adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

Suspension of Disbelief (limited release)
IMDb annoyingly lacks any plot details about this film from Paul Higgis but the Guardian tantalisingly describes it as “a self-deconstructing movie-within-a-movie about illusions, reality and falsehood”. This sounded incredibly tempting until I saw that they had also given it just two stars. Ah well.

Hipster Guide to Summer Cinema – July Edition


And we’re back with the second part of our Hipster Guide to Summer Cinema. If you want to avoid superheroes and romantic comedies and need help seeking out the films that won’t damage your hipster credentials then this is the guide for you as we look ahead to July.

5th July 2013The Bling Ring

Not only is this the painfully cool, and genuinely brilliant, Sofia Coppola’s fifth film as writer and director, it is also Emma Watson’s first “grown-up” role since Harry Potter, which most hipsters grew up reading and so struggle to raise their usual level of scorn for. What’s more the film takes a stance against the materialistic world of celebrities and the manner in which they are simultaneously put on a pedestal while highlighting their every flaw. Scoff at pop culture while indulging in it, what does a hipster do better?


A Field in England

Ben Wheatley has carved a niche for himself in making low budget, brutally violent, searingly funny, and outlandishly truthful British films as he brought us gangsters, hitmen, and serial killers. Now with his latest film set during the English Civil War he breaks all the rules and releases it simultaneously in cinemas, on DVD, and on Video on Demand. A historical film with a most modern distribution method. What’s not to love?

12th July 2013

Monsters University

Much as hipsters grew up reading Harry Potter they were still children when Monsters, Inc. first came out in 2001. Besides, Pixar is a film studio that somehow transcends all segments of society as children and adults, hipsters and chavs all laugh and cry together as the animated pixels tell stories on-screen. For me Monsters, Inc. was my first ever DVD, one which I had to take to a friend’s house to watch, so this prequel will be warmly welcomed into the Pixar oeuvre.

We Steal Secrets The Story of Wikileaks

WikiLeaks is a fascinating organisation that strives to reveal the secrets of the world for the good of its citizens. It’s founder Julian Assange is similarly intriguing with his sex scandals and slightly creepy air and the fact that he has spoken out against this documentary, which covers two decades of his crusade, makes the film all the more intriguing.

19th July 2013The World's End

From the early days of Spaced the combined efforts of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg have inspired an intense cult following. As my movie maths has shown Simon Pegg is not so good when Edgar is not around so fans will have been sitting patiently through Star Trek, waiting for this momentous day and the release of the third and final instalment in their genre bending Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy. This time around a pub crawl becomes a fight for humanity’s survival.

Breathe In

Two years ago Drake Doremus came from nowhere and brought us the beautifully shot, impressively improvised, and ultimately frustrating drama about a doomed long distance relationship. More importantly Doremus brought us 90 minutes of almost non-stop Felicity Jones, something he is repeating in his second feature; an improvised drama about an exchange student who falls for the father of her host family.

The rest of July is much less inspiring with films like The Wolverine and The Smurfs 2 coming out and scaring the hipsters away. If only Darren Aronofsky had followed through and directed The Wolverine, it might have qualified.

The World’s End – Trailer

The World's End

The Cornetto Trilogy is nearly complete. The journey started in 2004 with Shaun of the Dead which introduced the zom-rom-com. Then in 2007 we got Hot Fuzz which took Midsomer Murders and filtered it through Tarantino’s brain. Now after Simon Pegg’s detours with aliens in Paul and Star Trek and Edgar Wright blowing my mind with Scott Pilgrim we are only two months away from the July 19th release of The World’s End.

And there’s a trailer at last!

From the looks of things we are dealing with an alien invasion during a pub crawl. So far there is no sign of a cornetto but we do have the classic fence jump. Visually the film reminds me more of Scott Pilgrim than Shaun or Fuzz and there’s a hint of Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block too.

Colour me excited. Whatever that means.