September 17, 2013 -- I went to some trouble to see this since it is not playing, yet, in Laramie, and was bit disappointed in it, since I was a big fan of the previous two films of this trilogy, “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” I did not think this one measured up, particularly to “Hot Fuzz,” which is such a brilliant spoof. This is not a bad film, mind you, just not as good as I was hoping it would be given the big buildup.
In this film, stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reverse the roles they had in “Hot Fuzz,” with Pegg playing the drunken, irresponsible loser Gary King and Frost playing the buttoned-down executive Andy Knightley. King connives his way into reuniting his old friends to return to the town where they used to live in and re-enact an epic pub crawl they all attempted 20 years earlier, the other four friends are played by Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Eddie Marsan.
King is a man who never grew up. He manipulates and leeches off his friends, drinks too much, and seems to have no visible means of support. He seems to think that if he can finish the pub crawl he started 20 years ago it will give his life some meaning. The five men start the pub crawl, but when it becomes known that King lied to them in order to persuade them to do this, they are about to quit and go home when very strange circumstances cause them to continue their epic pub crawl.
At this point the comedy turns into a science fiction comedy about pod people threatening to replace the five men with replicants. The plot gets increasingly sillier, more preposterous and more grandiose until it finally falls apart at the end with a final scene that makes no sense in context with the rest of the film. There are a lot of funny scenes in the film, however, and I laughed a lot, and that is the main thing in a film like this. The big confrontation with the fate of the world in the balance is quite vulgar and funny at the same time. It is like a stoner film with booze instead of marijuana and pills.
This is the third in the so-called “Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy,” referring to the various Cornetto brand ice cream flavors mentioned in three films starring Pegg and Frost and directed by Edgar Wright, the first two being the aforementioned “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz.” Pegg and Wright also co-wrote the screenplay for all three films. Other films involving some of these same actors are the very solid science fiction spoofs “Paul” (with Pegg and Frost) and “Attack the Block” (with Frost and writer-director Joe Cornish, who is in the credits of “The World's End” and who also played roles in both “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”).
One of the more recognizable character actors (at least for American audiences) in the film is David Bradley of the Harry Potter films. He plays Basil, a kind of shifty, resourceful character. Probably the only reason I was disappointed in this film is the fact that these people are so talented that I was expecting more, and I am a big fan of their other films. To me, it is not quite up to the level of their previous films, but it is still good enough to recommend. This film rates a B.
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