Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The World's End - The scoop and digest

Zombie parody Shaun was excellent, cop spoof Hot Fuzz was decent and now, Edgar Wright concludes the so-called ‘Blood & Ice Cream’ trilogy with science fiction and alcohol.

Where there’s Pegg, you can bet your booty that Frost won’t be too far away but Run Fatboy Run and Attack the Block are notable exceptions when they had a break from each other.

So will this provide a great night out or simply ensure a brutal hangover?

Plot details and/or spoilers will be replaced by The Network.

Those attempting to find answers at the bottom of a glass include:

Simon Pegg - Gary
Nick Frost - Andy
Eddie Marsan – Pete
Martin Freeman – Oliver
Paddy Considine – Steven
Rosamund Pike – Sam
Bill Nighy – Voice of The Network

22 June 1990.

We are introduced to a bunch of your typical testosterone fuelled teenage kicks who attempt the ‘Golden Mile’ by negotiating twelve pubs in Newton Haven and if successful, they’ll reach The World’s End.

Their best isn't good enough and the lightweights fail.

20 years later…

Gary, the leader of the pack or Gary the King successfully tracks down his pals who reluctantly agree to help arrest twenty years of torment and help Gary exorcise those drinking demons.

While our man is still imprisoned in the past, life is very different for the remainder as they boast successful careers ranging from a car dealer and property seller. 

Some may consider them, ahem, boring.

Despite their reservations, the lager is about to flow.

Oliver’s sister Sam appears in one of the drinking pits and Gary follows her into the toilet believing the opportunity for a knee trembler is available but instead is rewarded a slap to the chops.

With the atmosphere becoming increasingly awkward and forced, people are about to bolt.

Pete also makes eye contact with a bully when he comes over to take a chair.

Gary’s brick of a phone rings from his recently deceased mother which really pisses Andy off.

Meanwhile in the toilet, Gary picks a fight with a teenager who is exposed as a robot when accidental decapitation takes place.

Let’s mop this up; they are given the adopted name of Blanks and/or robots filled with blue stuff.

Devoid of metal and wires, they look more like human mannequins.

The lads burst in to kick Gary’s ass for his deceit but end up having a scrap with other Blanks who get in on the action.

With the night well and truly spiced up, Andy thinks ‘sod it’ and downs multiple shots.

They decide to continue with the original plan in order to avoid attracting unnecessary attention.

In a pub holding a school disco, sultry vixens seduce in the best days of our lives clobber.

An old acquaintance in Basil lays it all down and explains that they came back in the day and are able to ‘replace’ us by extracting DNA.

Sam appears and drags the boys out of there as this sort of education is clearly unwelcome.

Their former teacher already has the drinks lined up and urges them to accept their fate.  They also realise that there’s something mechanical about Oliver.

A scrap breaks out consisting of my friends biff, bash, crash, bang and wallop.

Shortly after, Gary tells Sam to take the car and get the fuck out of Dodge.

The remaining friends take refuge at a bowling club and each demand that they prove who they really are.

Gary being Gary continuously headbutts a wooden post, thus passing the human test.

After resisting the advances of more robotniks, Gary and Andy make it safely inside The World’s End.

Emotions run high and after pouring their hearts out, Gary attempts to serve himself a final 568ml but instead of the amber nectar, he pulls a secret chamber.

Boss voice The Network explains that their invasion is for the good of humanity and is responsible for technological advancement.

Predictably, Gary’s having none of it and as there’s little point in arguing with him, ‘fuck it’ and the invasion is abandoned.  All robots are subject to shutdown and scarpering from self-destruction prompts the imminent aftermath.

At some point in the future, Andy recalls the story around a campfire, surrounded by the ruins of London.

Their retreat has forced The Dark Ages upon them and while robot surplus have reactivated (including Peter and Oliver), they are deemed untrustworthy by humans.

Matters conclude with Gary and robots of his younger friends walking into a bar and ordering rain.

While not great, this exceeded my expectations.

Pegg and Frost are ever reliable in contrasting roles while Bill Nighy, Pierce Brosnan and David Bradley bring little amusement but do beef up an already impressive cast.

As expected, Shaun and Fuzz geezers return but the recruitment of Pierce Brosnan makes Shaun a lost connection as it’s without a former 007.

I also noticed Mark Heap as one of the bar tenders.  Most will know him from Green Wing as crazy Dr. Statham.

So are antics funny?

Well, I’d answer that by saying it’s a mixed bag.

The fight sequences are admirably staged and importantly, comedic elements are easily recognised.

Action highlights include the female robot with legs where its arms should be and the Blanks refusing to let Gary finish off his pint.

Gary advising Andy to ‘twist his melon man’ is an obvious reference to Step On by Happy Mondays.

Pete attacks his tormentor with a branch which must be a tribute to John Cleese’s maniacal hotelier where Basil famously gives his vicious bastard of a car a damn good thrashing in Fawlty Towers.

Even after all these years, it’s still brilliant.

Anyway, the language is sometimes more colourful than a rainbow and is necessary for undoubtedly the film’s funniest line.

Gary tells The Network to:

“Get back on your rocket and fuck off back to legoland you cunt.”

Legoland?  WTF?

Apart from the now boring running through the fence gag, there are two subtle trademarks to hear and notice.

The same fruit machine sounds off in one of the pubs and during the apocalyptic epilogue; Andy speaks of not missing processed food until a Cornetto wrapper blows against the fence.

Like Trainspotting, this too also benefits from a fine soundtrack composed of essential tracks from Pulp, James, The Stone Roses, Suede, Teenage Fanclub, Happy Mondays and Inspiral Carpets.

The thoughtless ending doesn't detract from an enjoyable drink and ensures a fitting climax to a memorable and inspiring trilogy.

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