The World’s End finally made it to a theater near us, and boy am I glad we got to go see it! We love Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and closing out this movie “trilogy” was just a great part of that. I have done Shaun of the Dead for Halloween. I was always going to like this movie.
So in some ways, it doesn’t serve much purpose for me to do a review of the movie, and maybe especially not a spoiler-free review. My spoiler-free review is this: you ought to see this movie. Yeah, pretty much done.
So instead, let’s look at a couple of interesting parts. One is the fantastic Nick Frost. The other, is actually looking at these films (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World’s End) like a trilogy – because, for the creative team at least it was. So for this, I say: spoilers ahead!
Nick Frost has A Man Cold
A lot of the focus in these films ends up on Simon Pegg, and as the main character I suppose that fits. And don’t get me wrong, Simon Pegg is great. But he’s part of a team. He has a wingman. And that’s Nick Frost.
If you haven’t seen Nick Frost on his own, check out something like Man Stroke Woman:
Funny guy, good work. Note to self, watch more of that show.
Anyway, there’s a whole host of jokes or moments that they could go with because he’s a bigger guy. I don’t remember anything like that in the first two movies, though, and definitely not in The World’s End. If anything, him being the big guy helps him fight, and he easily beats up the most Blanks of the group.
Even during the big chase scene, it’s not like he’s falling behind, slower, or winded. If anything, he’s running and fighting – and drunk. Doing pretty well for himself, all told.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, by moving beyond what would be the obvious jokes one might come up with, they get to do much better things with his character. Like have him argue for sobriety in the middle of a drinking movie – a scene which gets a callback at the very end. Because it takes balls to walk into a bar full of testosterone-laden guys and order water.
Closing out a Trilogy
If Douglas Adams could write a five-book series and call it a trilogy, then these guys can make three unrelated movies and call them a trilogy. It’s probably just a difference in the British meaning of the word, right?
I saw an interview with them recently, and you can tell they’re friends who’ve been working together for years:
There’s also an extended interview: http://youtu.be/N-hgvP4zj5g
But really, if this is the end of a creative trilogy, then what does that say about Simon Pegg? That he’s always going on about finishing the trilogy, that they had to get together and make the movie? To get to the end, even if it kills them?
You can tell there’s an increased maturity to their thought by the movie. In the first, Shaun of the Dead, they’re irresponsible, haven’t really grown up, and are vindicated in this by their thought of going to the pub being a good move.
Then in Hot Fuzz, they’re moving on to try to be responsible adults: police even. They’re like the skilled version of what they needed to be in Shaun of the Dead. But by still having crazy thoughts, being doubted and outsiders for it anyway.
And here we have a movie about adults. About moving on, growing up, but still kind of wanting what you wanted when you were younger. Our one last hanger-on to the past is the butt of so many jokes, without being aware of any of them. Because there’s no point in arguing with him.
And it gets down to: we have to grow up, but we’re still stubborn, we still love freedom and being a little crazy, and apparently the universe needs to be okay – and needs to be ready for that.
Because the world fails to end in all three movies. Our unlikely heroes win. And, friends, walk away to try to live a good life. Far more of a message than American comedies try to have, to be sure!