“Blood and Ice Cream” A Review of The World’s End (2013)
**WARNING: CONTAINS SPOILERS**
The World’s End has been one of the most anticipated mainstream films of the year. Following on from 2007’s superbly gory Hot Fuzz and 2004’s zombierific Shaun of the Dead before it, this latest British blockbuster from Edgar Wright, starring usual suspects Simon Pegg and Nick Frost has a great deal to deliver. The film has received some mixed reactions thus far prior to opening in the US on the 23rd. The final (mint cornetto) installment in the famous “Blood and Ice Cream” trilogy ends the series in a spectacular fashion, taking on the science-fiction genre. But was it all it was cracked up to be? In my personal opinion, yes!
The film was very enjoyable with quirky humor, out-there scenes of body horror but most of all it came across as very relateable in terms of its themes and characters. Twenty years ago, Gary King (Pegg) along with his group of friends attempted an epic pub crawl, consisting of consuming a pint in each pub (twelve in total) beginning at ‘The First Post’ and concluding at ‘The World’s End’. The task was never completed. Fast forward to the present day and 40-year-old Gary is hell bent on reuniting the old gang for a trip down alcohol-fulled memory lane. The problem is his friends Andy (Nick Frost), Steven (Paddy Considine), Oliver (Martin Freeman) and Peter (Eddie Marsan) have moved on with full time jobs with family lives, whereas Gary remains stuck in the past, which is explored in detail. Reluctantly the group join him on an adventure back to their home town and encounter a threat to the human race with all their future’s hanging in the balance!
Wright’s films have always provided a commentary on British society, this one echoing the recession with lack of hope for the future among the younger generations. Teenage chavs loiter the streets and the population in general appear disconnected, making way for the robot aesthetic within the film. The main message the film conveyed was demonstrating how far humans could go to destroy civilization from this point in time. The heart and emotion comes from the principal characters in terms of the reflection they have on how their lives have turned out, Gary being unable to move forward as that one night twenty years ago represented all his hopes and dreams which since deteriorated, Peter’s reminder of his torment at the hand of the school bully who didn’t even remember him made powerful viewing. However Steven finally getting the girl he loved for two decades restored a glimmer of optimism. The film really pin points how we can become extremely nostalgic, reflecting on simpler and more innocent times but at the same time must let go of what has passed.
The scenes of violence were constructed in Wright’s traditional fast-paced, humorous style. The robot CGI effects were done outrageously, showing Wright wasn’t afraid to keep the crazy goriness of his previous offers. A number of well-respected and talented British actors made some more than welcome cameos including Bill Nighy, Reece Shearsmith, Pierce Brosnan, David Bradley, Steve Oram, Alice Lowe and Michael Smiley. In this sense these films could now well be considered a British institution and a significant part of our culture. With expected conventions The World’s End managed to stay true to the trilogy while being a little different in other aspects. It may not be the strongest out of the three, Hot Fuzz will always remain my favorite, however the film still has a repeated watchibility about it. With well-rounded characters, suspense, violence, humor and emotion The World’s End keeps its versatility in terms of genre and will surely impress its fans. A film about alcohol and robots taking over the world has much more to offer than what might be expected!
Hayley Alice Roberts.