Directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike. 109 minutes running time.
Twenty years after a failed, end-of-school, pub crawl, unhinged and obnoxious, Gary Knight (Simon Pegg) gets his four, much-put-upon, mates to return to their hometown of Newtown Haven to finish off the pub-crawl they failed at in their youth. But much has changed, and not just themselves. Their old home town seems strangely otherworldly and beneath the surface they unearth an alien conspiracy that might just mean the end of the world.
Described as the third part of the Cornetto trilogy - the chocolate mint to Hot Fuzz's original 'blue' Cornetto and Shaun of the Dead's strawberry option. TWE arrives with a lot of expectations, will it live up to sublime genius of Shaun, or will it be a slightly over-baked version of Hot Fuzz, or will it just be be a tired rehash of the previous two with gags revisited and repeated and the same funny cameos? The trailer seemed to hint at the later but it's a relief to discover that TWE is a thrilling, extremely funny and very exciting comedy that might pay a nodding homage to the previous two films but doesn't do it slavishly. This manages a perfect mix of humour, action and drama, with characters going on well-written story arcs that doesn't sacrifice humour for plot or vice-versa. It helps that the cast is terrific and that the two leads are playing against type, with Pegg happy to be the obnoxious one who never tries to sugar coat what an odious arse his character is, while Nick Frost handles his bitter and angry, tea-total bank-manager character very well.
The film moves at a break-neck speed which successfully avoids Hot Fuzz's over long running time problems and multiple endings. As a director, Edgar Wright just keeps getting better and his handling of action here is just as assured and confident as his handling of the humour and serious bits.
It's sod's law that two end-of-the-world movies should arrive in the same month with almost the same titles and it's sad to think that might have an impact on the box office. The World's End deserves to be seen several times.