The World’s End Screen 82 of 15 reviews

The World’s End

2013

The World’s End Poster
  • It's impressive how Wright, who is nearly peerless as director of camera and character movement, stages the fights so that no actor can get away with looking good. The men actually have to swing and hit and slam people over their knees. The science fiction hook is both hokey and preachy, but in getting to its punch line Wright and Pegg have conceived one of the most heartless depictions of alcoholic narcissism.

  • ...The sci-fi elements—which were hinted at in trailers, but which I'll write around in this review and maybe revisit later in a spoiler-warning-bedecked blog post—are audaciously funny and inventively designed, and they're always tied to the film's concerns. Nothing, no matter how extravagant or surreal, is superfluous.

  • I think these genre-busting comedies [Wright and Pegg's Cornetto trilogy] – part social satire, and part rude and silly romp — have generated such extraordinary fan adoration because they’re works of exemplary craftsmanship, they’re written by people with brains and they’re funny, three things that often do not go together. Beyond that, they merge phenomena that inspire intense, lifetime-commitment-level loyalty: the self-mocking and absurdist traditions of British comedy...

  • With his rhythmic cutting, his ability to juggle spectacularly choreographed fight scenes even as he privileges little human moments or throwaway gags, Wright has the directorial skills to match. This time, though, there's genuine pathos to this aesthetic. This new film is insanely funny and exciting, yes. But it's also quite sad, as the fear of leaving childish things behind that ran beneath the earlier films finally makes it to the surface in overt fashion.

  • The exquisite execution of such unusual entertainment feats happens to be the specialty of director and writer Edgar Wright, who, here reunited with his frequent leading man and co-writer Simon Pegg, presents the most delightfully and sensibly eccentric mainstream picture I've seen in some time, "The World's End."

  • Something wonderful—even touching?—has happened with [Pegg and Wright's] latest. The cast’s voices have dropped what sounds like an octave, revealing age and wear. Their paunches have grown. Wright still cuts his footage with a youthful vigor, capturing every tapped pint of lager with a snappy hiss, but his players (especially Frost and Pegg) are ready to go darker. Impressively, the material is strong enough to take them there.

  • What's remarkable, and sublime, about The World's End is that it isn't content to simply chronicle a formative experience and articulate the attendant pain. Wright understands that the cinema has the capacity not only to recreate lived experience, but to offer constructive and cathartic alternatives to it, working through difficult issues by engaging and then reconfiguring them.

  • The ending is perfect... since while it seemingly flips the conflict, what’s sustained is the idea of a hero who’s powered by the paradoxical urge to be different, no matter the situation, the most primal method of self definition and in some ways still the most pure.

  • Opening act's darker/more wince-inducing than expected, then it's a gasser. Doesn't quite seal the ending, but I'm nodding my head in agreement regardless. The heavily nostalgic soundtrack seals the sense of a nationally specific moment about people who took Ecstasy, got optimistic and thought they were gonna change their society and found out absolutely nothing of the sort was about to happen. Think local, despair global.

  • Wright's themes gel magnificently with his cartoonish milieus, so much that each seemingly incongruous element is contextualized in a new light. To be fair, Wright isn't exactly reinventing the wheel here—the zombie films of George Romero are as much social satire as they are gory thrillers—but the energy and formal creativity on display renders even the most familiar material new again.

  • The exuberance of Wright's movies is always their strong suit. But structurally, they're so loose-jointed—held together with rubber bands, pieces of string, and other bits and bobs—that they almost fall apart even as you're watching them... Wright's movies can be great fun, but they demand that you live in their moment, because once they're over, you're left with little more than a handful of chuckles.

  • Part of the fun of this knockabout comedy is the way that it gradually escalates from what appears to be a small, grubby portrait of misplaced nostalgia into full-scale insanity befitting its title. Were it a Hollywood movie, in fact, it probably wouldn’t work nearly as well; the very fact that it’s British suggests certain limitations of budget and scale that the movie takes great relish in obliterating.

  • There is a very good idea at center here, an almost Pialatian take on the World’s lack of interest, but it remains an idea that is more suggested than livid in. The film as a whole remains mostly a sketch, its two halves never dialogue quite like how they are supposed to.

  • While Wright enjoys a larger budget and fancier special effects, the human element is in short supply. What made Shaun of the Dead (and, to a lesser extent, Hot Fuzz) work was the firm and focused establishment of central characters and their relationships with each other. The Pegg/Frost bromance, the glue holding these films together, is half-realized here, and comes too late for anyone to care. With the unwieldy cast focusing too heavily on Pegg, nobody ever becomes multidimensional.

  • Hobbled by two plots that don’t so much collide as just feel incompatible, the movie turns comedically stale (especially compared to the not dissimilar Shaun) until it feels as if these benighted pub crawlers, battling their way back and forth across town, are running in place.

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