The World’s End (dir. Edgar Wright, 2013)

Seen at Vue.

This is the third and final installment in Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy, which witnessed the duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost taking on Zombies and mad villagers. This, the minty green cornetto of the pack, is ultimately a warning against nostalgia. 

Gary King (Pegg) is a truly sad sack of a man. A 40 year old with no job or purpose, he still wears Sisters of Mercy t-shirts and listens to the Soup Dragons. Pining for the days of his youth, he calls up his four old mates – Oliver (the generally wonderful Martin Freeman); Peter (a brilliantly subtle Eddie Marsan); Steve (Paddy Considine) and Andy (Nick Frost, who turns in his best performance in these films.) On Gary’s prodding, the fivesome head back to Newton Haven, a small town that boasts the Golden Mile – a 12 pub pub crawl. But, en route, something rather sinister is happening to the residents…

This is a clever film, as it manages to pull together many threads and yet still make you laugh like a goon. The theme of small town weirdness is one that Wright has explored before, but this time its given a new twist – the rapid homogenisation of all our towns and cities. It also explores another unpalatable truth for anyone approaching 40 – everyone grows old, but when do you accept it and grow up? One scene that did make me uncomfortable was Gary challenging his married, solvent, business and home owning friends as to why they looked down on him.  Its hard not to feel sorry for the shifty, untrustworthy Gary, who wants to carry on living like a teenager – but also hard  to admire him. Rosamund Pike does a decent job as a love interest, and Pierce Brosnan has a sly cameo, but this is definitely Pegg’s film, and in telling the story of a broken man who only wants to stay in the past, its riveting.

Highly recommended.