Thursday, 01 August 2013 09:00

The World's End Review

Everybody knows somebody like Gary King.

King, played by Simon Pegg, is the erstwhile hero of The World's End, the last film in Pegg, co-star Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright's so-called 'Three Colours Cornetto' trilogy. Pushing 40 but still dressing (and living) the way he did when he was 18, King is that guy who peaked in high school and wants to drag everyone else back there with him.

In this case, King rounds up his four best friends from high school, who have all grown into ordinary, well-adjusted gents, and convinces them to finish a pub crawl they started 20 years ago. Naturally, this being the conclusion to a trilogy that's so far revolved around zombie outbreaks and slow-motion shoot-outs, they get a lot more than they bargained for.

Unlike the loveable types he usually plays, Pegg has boldly chosen to make King as unlikable as possible — he's truly pathetic, a vicious takedown of the perpetual adolescent, and if audiences are able to relate to him, that's more of an indictment of the viewer than a credit to Pegg's charms.

The shift from Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz's supremely likeable protagonists to this cringeworthy character is indicative of the larger tonal shift that's going on here. While those earlier films were laugh riots, The World's End is a much more subdued affair — it's darker, deeper, and occasionally depressing.

That's not to say there aren't laughs to be had in The World's End — there are plenty — but they just don't come as thick and fast as they do in Wright's earlier efforts. That's clearly intentional, to a degree; a natural result of the fairly serious themes of ageing and social malaise that co-writers Wright and Pegg are kicking around here.

But part of the problem is very much not intentional. There are a lot of moments in this movie that are clearly meant to get a laugh that don't quite work; obvious jokes that fall flat and banter that doesn't sparkle. It's impossible not to compare The World's End with Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz and wish that it was, well, funnier.

That said, the script is still awfully tight. Wright is a master watchmaker, and every single part of his films connects to the others in some way — seemingly minor asides end up paying off as major plot points down the track; ostensibly insignificant details are actually layered with hidden meanings. There'll be plenty to dig into here on repeat viewings, even if it doesn't completely satisfy the first time.

Ultimately, that's where The World's End will most likely shine — at home, watched repeatedly at the tail end of a Three Colours Cornetto triple bill.

That's certainly how Gary King would choose to watch it, anyway.

3/5
The World's End is out now.
Published in Film
Friday, 26 July 2013 00:00

The World's End Tickets

Edgar Wright has a strike rate that would make the world’s finest batsmen blush.

In the last decade, the director released three films — ‘Shaun Of The Dead’, ‘Hot Fuzz’ and ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs The World’ — and all three achieved 'instant classic' status with legions of dedicated fans.

His latest effort, ‘The World's End’, concludes the Cornetto Trilogy that began with ‘Shaun’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’, and it's about as bittersweet an ending as you could hope for.

The film tells the tale of Gary King, an absolute train wreck of a human being played by Simon Pegg. Once considered the king of the castle in high school, King has been unable to move on with his life, and his attempts to relive the past culminate when he gathers four of his old friends to finish off a pub crawl they started 20 years ago.

To win one of five in-season double passes to the film This competition has closed.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Terms and Conditions:

1. Winners will be drawn at random at 2pm Thursday 1st August at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley. [Winners drawn]
2. Winners will be notified by e-mail. [Winners drawn]
3. Winners must arrange to collect the prize from Scene Magazine's offices at Level 2, 192-210 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley, during business hours.
4. Entrants' email address will not be used for any other purpose except the conduct of this competition.

Published in Competition
Wednesday, 18 May 2011 14:35

Movie Reviews

YOUR HIGHNESS

Danny McBride, James Franco, Natalie Portman. Directed by David Gordon Green.

It’s simple: Danny McBride shouldn’t be let near a typewriter. Not that I think the man actually did any typing on ‘Your Highness’ – his bawdy-beyond-belief, cod-pieced quest flick – no doubt he and co-writer Ben West hired a topless secretary to do the physical labour while they sat on bean bags in the corner, punching cones and letting their tongues relay the ramblings of restless minds. Thankfully McBride the performer is much better than McBride the filmmaker, and ‘Your Highness’ has a secret weapon in the form of James Franco throwing himself headfirst into a film that doesn’t deserve his skilled presence. Thus it’s a likeable turkey, but a turkey nonetheless

2 stars

MATT SHEA

 




BURKE AND HARE

Simon Pegg, Andy Serkis, Isla Fisher. Directed by John Landis.

I’d love to watch a documentary on the making of ‘Burke And Hare’, if only to nail down the exact moment that everyone involved realised they were making one of the worst films of their careers (to put that in perspective, Tim Curry is in this movie). The tale of two real-life serial killers - inexplicably portrayed as lovable lads by Pegg and Serkis - who sold corpses for dissection in the 1800s, this exceptionally tonedeaf film is like ‘Snowtown’ played for easy laughs (making those laughs look awfully difficult in the process). Like virtually all Simon Pegg films made without the involvement of ‘Shaun Of The Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ director Edgar Wright, it’s best to give this one a wide berth.

1 star

ROHAN WILLIAMS

 

Published in Film

Columns

Other Sites By Us

Community

© Eyeball Media Pty Ltd 2012-2013.