Friday, October 4, 2013

Drinking, Alien Robots and Old Friends Unite At The World's End

Simon Pegg's new movie gets him through
The World's End—with a little help from his friends. 


ARTH VADER (AV): Completing the so-called "…" trilogy (Paul apparently doesn't count) Simon Pegg's third big movie is World's End. Being a fan mean loving the content and the people behind it. I guess I qualify. In the vein of epic world-ending tales–heck, this one even says it right in the title–World's End continues to off-track, situational comedy and British humor sensibility make this movie unpredictable and downright entertaining. I tend to be leery of any movie that is heralded as "laugh-out-loud-funny" (because it means it usually isn't) but this film delivered the goods, following in the footsteps of some pretty well-loved its. Ponty, did you think World's End synched up with it's Pegg predecessors? 

THE PONTIFICATOR (TP): Straight from the brains of Egdar Wright and Simon Pegg, there are no books or previous material featuring the events or characters in this film. I didn’t see the previous two films Vader, that said, I’m a fan of British humor and the only continuity I saw that counts is in the film, and I didn’t see any errors in that department.


AV: All the usual Simon Pegg suspects arrive for this twisted boys-night-out tryst. Nick Frost plays Andy, Simon Pegg (or "Gary")'s best bud, but cast is superb. Gary's is stuck in 1990, reliving what even he proclaims in the best time of his life. He solicits life-long buddies Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steve (Paddy Considine) and Peter (Eddie Marsan)–along with Andy–to these hometown to finish a pub crawl. Hi jinks ensue when just as the festivities begin, an alien plot to take over the world and replace us with android duplicates is revealed. Things are further complicated as Gary long-lost love interest and ex-high school fling Tracey (Rose Reynolds) joins in and events really unravel.

TP: World’s End was brilliantly cast for what it was meant to be. I’m an avid watcher of BBC America television, so I feel right at home with the British accent’s, slang, humor, and mannerisms. Simon Pegg (Star Trek) is the glue and nucleus of the core group and everyone plays off him well. Martin Freeman (The Hobbit), also a very established talent, is convincing and funny. Eddie Marsan (Sherlock Holmes) brings his character to life with the cliche story of being the victim of a bully, and generally avoiding physical confrontation at all costs. Paddy Considine and Nick Frost round out the quartet of this well paced and zany sci-fi comedy with Frost also being a pivotal character involving reconciliation with Pegg.


AV: The World's End does very little in the vein of special effects, For this kind of movie, effects take a huge backseat to the story and in the spirit of expediency, I have little else to say. Ponty?

TP: The special effects were better than I expected for a film that had a very reserved feel to it Vader. Kudos to the filmmakers for keeping the effects simple, but using them in such a way as to be very effective in conveying the urgency of the plight of the characters. The CGI wasn’t groundbreaking, but again, was very effective for driving home the point of “alien invasion.” There was a kind of “Doctor Who” feel to it all wherein the effects didn’t blow you away, nor did it seem they were supposed to... but were good enough so you get the emotional connection to the situation as intended.


AV: What I most enjoy about Simon Pegg's films is the lighthearted approach to VERY dark subject matter. Taking hallowed and favored genres like Sci-fi and zombie hour thrillers and even cop comedies (Hot Fuzz) and making them believable inclusions in to those genres while still making the comedy and the story you want to make is a talent for sure. I do have to say the end of this movie is an eye-rolling train wreck as the explanation from the *SPOILER!* great alien intellect shares high hopes for a bright future for humanity to the drunken remnants of the pub crawler's party. 

For me, the ending was downright ridiculous, bordering on senseless. The post-apocalyptic part was even more contrived and I kind of felt the film was off the rails and spinning wildly out of control at this point. Kind of a downer since I really enjoyed the movie up to the end… 

TP: For a sci-fi comedy set it Britain with a bit of a slapstick humorous feel, there is a lot going on. Gary King (Pegg) is trying to reclaim his youth, reconcile relationships, and achieve a sense of accomplishment, as a way to deal with his addiction, which becomes a focal point of the film as he becomes hell bent on completing the task of having a pint at twelve pubs... culminating at the last pub, The World’s End, even in the face of the dire circumstance of an alien invasion. It’s a classic, but yet original story, of divergent life journeys' from a youthful point, that for King, is the absolute highlight of his entire life.This path of reconciliation is shared with his friends making the film dig even deeper as they become more than just supporting characters, but tangible people the audience can identify with. Added to this the fact that there is an alien invasion underway and you have a film with serious juxtaposition delivering a unique flavor with an ending that is anything but... if life as we know it is the expected conclusion.


AV: Lets pray that this story begins and ends with The World's End. Again, with the word 'End' right in the title. Let's hope this doesn't begin some needless strain of films hell-bent on forcing us to laugh at things that just aren't funny. Forced humor is the worst kind. Pontificator, you're up. 

TP: This was the last in a trilogy (of sorts) starting with “Shaun of the Dead” and then “Hot Fuzz.” Although there is certainly room to expand the story, as the world condition at the end of the film could be endlessly explored, we will likely be left to draw our own conclusions as to the final fate of our heroes (well some of them) and disposition of the world.

ARTH VADER rates The World's End: I found this movie more entertaining than I was initially wanting to give it credit for. The character-driven storyline helped move along a pretty ho-hum story that got progressively more engaging I found myself caring more than halfway through about what would happen next. Lot's of genuine laughs, good campy dialogue and ridiculously fun story makes The World's End a good time at the big screen. With that, I give this movie seven (7) Busted Blocks as I down a flagon o' mead with me buds. P-Man? 

THE PONTIFICATOR rates The World’s End: Walking into this film with an empty cup left plenty of room for it to be filled at every pub visited. This film was funny, dramatic, hokey, and excellent... all at the same time. A great example of how to enjoy (momentarily) a passive (relatively speaking) alien invasion. I can see how it might not appeal to everyone, but for me it drunkenly busted seven (7) blocks... and left me thirsty for more. Cheers Vader! 

The World's End: 7 / 10 Busted Blocks
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