THE WORLD’S END – The Blu Review
Edgar Wright is, arguably, one of the most clever and entertaining comedic filmmakers working today. For many of us, knowing he’s British may cause for pause, but let me lay that to rest. This is not your grandmother’s brand of dry British socialite comedy. THE WORLD’S END is the official conclusion to the somewhat unofficial “Three Flavors Cornetto” trilogy, so named in part by the droves of fans that have fully embraced the films directed and co-written by Edgar Wright. Co-writer Simon Pegg co-stars with Nick Frost in this third film following SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004) and HOT FUZZ (2007).
THE WORLD’S END is a concept first explore by Wright and Pegg during a publicity tour for HOT FUZZ, based on an old script written by a young Edgar Wright. The film, noticeably more mature than it’s two predecessors, still maintains a healthy dose of silliness and the trademark immaturity of it lead characters, but chronicles of journey in life that brings the themes of the three films full circle to a logical close… embodied in the trademark genre film packaging that serves as both homage and structural backbone to Wright’s trilogy.
Gary “the once and future” King (Simon Pegg) was the coolest kid in school and, at age 19, he and his five mates embarks on an epic attempt at mastering “The Golden Mile.” Five friends, 12 pubs, one night. This was to be the pub crawl to end them all, an unforgettable night for these five friends that would mark the beginning of the rest of their lives. Fast forward and the five friends are nearing 40. Gary King returns out of nowhere enlisting the other four to once again attempt conquering The Golden Mile, ending on the 12th and final downed pint at The World’s End. Reluctantly, the five friends decide to accompany Gary on this juvenile effort to recapture their youth, but wants ensues is far most bizarre and life-altering than any night filled with binge-drinking alone could ever hope to produce.
Oliver (Martin Freeman), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Andy (Nick Frost) all choose to follow Gary down this road of reliving past unpleasantness for their own reasons, but Andy is most reluctant. What begins as a nostalgic drinking comedy quickly jump starts into a fast-paced, quick-witted mystery as the five friends attempt to figure out what has changed about their hometown. Wright makes no effort to hide the inevitable, throwing the audience into the abnormalities of his tale as soon as possible. There is something peculiar about the population of their hometown and the paranoia sets in quickly as Gary is the first to encounter the unexplained truth, when he experiences a life-or-death encounter in the Gents’ room.
THE WORLD’S END is a film steeped in the traditions of British social science-fiction. Just beneath the witty humor and the rapid action are some darker themes and some surprisingly mature philosophical undertones. The science-fiction of the film involves extraterrestrials, of sorts, with hints of THE BODY SNATCHERS and the unmistakable influence of DOCTOR WHO.
The chase sets in as Gary and his gang struggle to survive, frequently finding themselves fighting in high-octane modern Asian stylized scenes of seemingly superhuman skills. Superbly choreographed without losing the comedic edge, Wright orchestrates fight and action sequences that rival Hollywood blockbuster equivalents. Spectacular stunts and special effects aside, the writing is still the cornerstone of THE WORLD’S END. As with all of Edgar Wright’s films, including SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD, the keen sense of comedic writing and flawless timing is the foundation of his success. Never before, nor ever again, shall you laugh with such vigor over the explanation of the word “it.”
Will Gary and the boys survive? Will they make it to The World’s End? Watch and see what happens on this fateful trek and follow along until the bittersweet ending, an ending which is perhaps the most serious and dramatic thus far in Wright’s compendium as Gary and Andy come to terms with one another, I might add — with some disappointment — without uttering the line “you’ve got blue on you” at any point in the film, which brings thoughtful pause just prior to a more genre appropriate conclusion.
The cast rounds out with Rosamund Pike as Oliver’s sister Sam, Pierce Brosnan as Gary’s beloved favorite cool teacher and Wright-regular Bill Nighy provides a key voice-over in the film.
THE WORLD’S END offers up a surprisingly generous portion of extras for an initial home release blu-ray not endowed with the infamous “Collector’s Edition” branding, best of which are the multiple commentaries and the near-feature-length making of documentary. The one surprising down side — considering Edgar Wright is such a perfectionist, known for many takes, there is but one… just ONE, deleted scene included in the extras, however,we do get alternate edits and outtakes in it’s place.
- Blu-ray Combo Pack includes DVD and Digital HD
- Cast commentary with stars Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Paddy Considine
- Technical commentary with director Edgar Wright and director of photography Bill Pope
- Filling in the Blanks: The Stunts and FX of The World’s End
- Hair and make-up tests
- Rehearsal Footage
- Stunt tapes — Behind-the-scenes of key fight sequences.
- VFX Breakdown — Comparison of production footage with final shots.
- There’s Only One Gary King — osymyso’s Inibri-8 Megamix
- The Man Who Would Be (Gary) King
- Signs & Omens — A film clip montage highlighting all the hidden clues and hints throughout the film.
- Edgar & Simon’s Flip Chart
- Completing the Golden Mile — The Making of The World’s End
- Feature Commentary with screenwriters Edgar Wright & Simon Pegg
- Interactive screenplays for The World’s End, Hot Fuzz, and Shaun of the Dead
THE WORLD’S END will be available for purchase on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013.