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Thirsty for Another Cornetto
In 2004, the self proclaimed RomZomCom (that’s Romantic Zombie Comedy) Shaun of the Dead took audiences all over the world by total surprise. The film’s loving allusions to the zombie genre, as well as its strong grounding in character and perfectly timed comedy won theatergoers over and made it one of the most beloved films of the year. The same team came together for the 2007 follow up comedy Hot Fuzz.
Where Shaun was a send up of zombie horror, Fuzz was the team’s hilarious take on bro-mantic cop actioners. It turned out to be another huge success and was, in my opinion, one of the greatest comedies ever made. Now, for one final go at another beloved genre, director Edgar Wright, and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost decided to tackle the end of the world sci-fi thriller.
Gary King (Simon Pegg) is a man stuck in the past. He can’t help but relive his glory days of partying in his hometown of Newton Haven with his four mates Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Andrew (Nick Frost). Bored with his life filled with AA meetings and soul crushing emptiness, Gary decides to relive the infamous “Golden Mile”, a pub crawl between twelve bars in Newton Haven, that the team was too drunk to finish as young men.
Gary rounds up his reluctant friends and heads into Newton Haven for some good old fashioned debauchery. As the five make their way though the bars it becomes ever apparent that things have changed for the worse in their absence, as blue blooded robots have replaced most of the townspeople. Ever determined, Gary urges his friends onwards as the robots hunt them down and attempt to assimilate them.
The World’s End is every bit as fun to watch as its predecessors. This is clearly a group of filmmakers that loves what they do. Not one scene is victim of the apathetic cash grab mentality that has plagued most of this year’s releases. Almost every scene is a group of great actors having fun in front of a camera helmed by a wholly competent and smart director. That said it does lack the masterful building of Hot Fuzz, which is understandable as Hot Fuzz is probably the most perfect comedy in existence. The film gets going quickly and doesn’t spend enough time building the characters or tension much, which grates on the overall experience. However, I still found myself smiling throughout the whole film, and I’d gladly watch this movie again or buy it on DVD. This film is worth your time if you enjoyed the previous two entries in the trilogy.
Edgar Wright has an amazing ability to round up some of the U.K.’s finest performers and make them give a totally worthwhile performance, while also allowing them room to enjoy their jobs. Obviously, Pegg and Frost are still the ultimate comedy duo of our time, as each moment they’re on screen is as good as the last. The rest of the cast steps up as well and not a single actor is underwhelming or over played. It was a pleasure to see faces that have now become familiar here in the States give such an over baked and joyless genre a swift kick to the bollocks.
As far as trilogy enders go, it will certainly satisfy fans as well as delight newcomers. You don’t have to see Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz to enjoy this romp, so if you haven’t now would be a good time to start. The movie was overshadowed by a hint of sadness that this amazingly brilliant team won’t do another hilarious parody, but all the while, they left the series on a high note and have surely entered themselves in the film history books as the funniest and most intelligent comedians of the millenial era.
Here’s to you mates. Cheers.