The World's End Movie Review
First there was Shaun of the Dead. Then there was Hot Fuzz. And now there is The World's End, which is a less funny version of Shaun of the Dead. Full of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and beer, The World's End is mildly entertaining but a somewhat disappointing conclusion to director Edgar Wright's so-called "Three Flavors Cornetto Trilogy."
Like in Shaun of the Dead, the protagonists find themselves surrounded by a less-than-human force - this time robot-alien things with blue ink as blood and glowing bad breath. Like in Hot Fuzz, they also find themselves in a small, seemingly innocent town with dark secrets. And like in both, Pegg and Frost play mismatched friends (along with others, played by Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Paddy Considine).
Unlike Wright's previous two films, The World's End lacks that special something. Shaun of the Dead played off zombie movies. Hot Fuzz was an action satire. But what is The World's End? The Stepford Wives meets The Body Snatchers, only with 40-something-year-old-barhoppers? I'm not quite sure, and that's part of the problem. The movie feels much more like an excuse for the cast and crew to reunite for the hell of it, relying on recycled story elements and gags.
Of course, if you're going to recycle old parts, Edgar Wright could do worse than pull from his other critically acclaimed efforts. It's always fun to see Pegg and Frost working together; the chemistry between the various cast members, which also includes Rosamund Pike, is terrific. The witty fast-paced dialogue still has its appeal, and the silly story keeps things light... and silly.
Still, at 109 minutes, The World's End feels long. The comedy isn't tight and parts of the story drags. Laugh-out-loud funny parts are neutralized by jokes that fall flat. It lacks the comedic charm of the previous two efforts. When all is said and done, the movie is about a group of friends whose best years are behind them... The World's End just feels tired.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.