14/07/2013

The World's End

The only thing anyone is going to ask after watching The World's End is whether it's as funny as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Many trilogies with a better second film have had trouble going out - or continuing - on a high: Alien 3, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, X-Men: The Last Stand and Spiderman 3 were all shitbags for various reasons, so the third installment of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy had a lot to live up to. The initial answer to the questions is no, it's not as funny, but only because more time is spent on the characters and their relationships at the expense of a flurry of consistent gags. But that doesn't mean it's not as good; Shaun and Fuzz have benefited from years and years of repeated ITV2 viewings so even if this was the greatest comedy in the history of comedies there would still some berk moaning it's not as good.

Where The World's End falls short of its predecessors is the somewhat anti-climactic third act reveal and a sci-fi plot that doesn't feel as strong as the horror and action homages. Until the final scenes in which everything is explained it doesn't feel as fun and the parts that should fall flat only don't because the pace and performances keep it going. Simon Pegg's Gary King may be unsympathetic and unworthy of his friend's forgiveness at the best of times, but played by anyone else and he'd be the most insufferable twat imaginable. Pegg may give one of his best performances but the heart of The World's End is Nick Frost. He's usually the chubby foil to Pegg's straight man but here he excels as King's former BFF who slowly reveals why he's so pissed at him. But don't think he all serious; some of the funniest lines and moments are because of him and who knew he was so lethal with a pub stool?

Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman all provide strong support considering their characters are so thinly drawn and it's easy to forget Rosamund Pike's even exists, but it's forgiveable as these films have always been about the bromance between Pegg and Frost. Their central relationship along with more killer one-liners than any other film this year and a very British story makes this the comedy of the summer, and even if you don't initially agree, I'll be the one saying I told you so in five years after repeated telly viewings confirm its genius.