A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Corbett and Barker, Fry and Laurie, Mitchell and Webb, Pegg and Frost.
It’s no lie that over the years, Britain has produced some of the world’s most profound comedy duos. It appears that nowadays in the mainstream cinematic world, Britain’s comedic legacy lives on almost purely through the works of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The endless collaborative pieces of these comic masterminds have stood the test of time.
From “Spaced” to “Paul”, Pegg and Frost have delighted our screens with witty, spontaneous humour, countless gags and a unyielding sense of camaraderie.
Pegg and Frost’s latest and final instalment into the unofficial “Cornetto” trilogy is “The World’s End”; a tale centred around chaos, drinking and nostalgia. Like the previous two, unrelated films from Pegg, Frost and director Edgar Wright, “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”, “The World’s End” takes place in a town that appears to friendly, hospitable and welcoming, yet there is an underlying troublesome, threatening and eery tone to it all.
Five old friends are forcefully reunited by Gary King (Pegg), an alcoholic, manic depressant who is trapped in the mindset and embodiment, to an extent, of his former self from 20 years ago. In denial and conscienceless, King manages to persuade his four oldest friends Andy (Frost), Steven (Paddy Considine), Peter (Eddie Marsan) and Oliver (Martin Freeman) to travel to the place of fond, epic and disastrous memories and the place shaped the men that they would become, Newton Haven.
With the sole purpose of returning to Newton Haven being to achieve the “Golden Mile”, which is essentially a pub crawl made up of a pint at 12 consecutive pubs, the lads find themselves firstly not being able to keep up with their former selves (excluding Gary of course) and secondly, realising that Newton Haven is not the place they so fondly remembered.
Things seem strange, unfamiliar and awkward in the town. But beneath this, the primary narrative source, lies a dramatically tense subplot regarding Gary and his time on earth after breaking away from his four best mates. The character ark of every member is clear and well structured, allowing for the story to progress and change to occur without appearing rushed or forced. The characters are believable and well explored. The audience get a sense of where each character is at in their lives, and comparatively, this adds so much depth and awareness to the protagonist Gary.
“The World’s End” begins quite convincingly. The laughs are instantaneous and the sense of where the film is going was obvious. Pegg’s acting is supreme and the chemistry with the supporting cast is excellent.
There are some excellent cameos from Pierce Brosnan, David Bradley and some old “Spaced” favourites in Michael Smiley and Mark Heap who all give brilliant little performances.
Although “The World’s End” would have to be the least enjoyable out of the “Cornetto Trilogy”, one paramount feature that has remained consistent and commendable throughout these films is the editing. The visual style of Edgar Wright is simply astonishing. Having recently watched a video that analyses his visual comedic abilities through editing and cinematography, making the ordinary and dull extraordinary and invigorating, it is noticeable and fantastic to see this art-form once again exhibited without fault. Fast cuts, back and forth action, montages, big close ups and an overall sense of urgency within the layout of the film give it that extra edge and pays off immensely.
To finish off a marvellous set of 3 collaborative works, “The World’s End” did quite well. It wasn’t a patch on the previous two, but it definitely had its moments. The second time around, there are more noticeable qualities, especially through previously missed dialogue and superb editing strategies. Sadly, the direction that the plot goes tends to alienate and confuse more than it thrilled and entertained. It has laugh-out-loud moments of comedy gold, heartbreaking emotion conflicts and some bad-assery at it’s finest, but ultimately, “The World’s End” was simply a satisfying thrill ride and passable comedic adventure.