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The World’s End

by Leonard Maltin
August 23, 2013 12:05 AM
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Photo by Laurie Sparham - Courtesy of Focus Features

An already-cheeky comedy goes cheerfully berserk when filmmaker Edgar Wright reteams with star and co-writer Simon Pegg and their comrade-in-arms Nick Frost for The World’s End. Their latest effort follows Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz in the so-called Cornetto trilogy, whimsically named for a popular British ice-cream confection. But what really pushes this energized comic caper into the plus column is new blood: Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, and Paddy Considine as Pegg and Frost’s fellow high-school musketeers, and Rosamund Pike as Freeman’s sister who’s long been an object of attraction for two of the gang. These formidable actors add weight—and considerable comedic chops—to the proceedings and make it a treat to watch.

Pegg remains the story’s sparkplug as a lifelong hell-raiser who wants to re-live the best night of his life, when he and his teenage pals attempted to complete a hometown ritual of drinking their way through all 13 pubs on the so-called Golden Mile. In the intervening years these onetime buddies have drifted apart and settled down; only their boisterous ringleader still cares about reenacting this accelerated pub crawl, but for various reasons they all reluctantly agree to go along for the ride.         

Just when you think you’re about to ingest another saga of a man-child who can’t face adult responsibility, The World’s End takes a spectacular leap into the Weird (which, alas, is revealed in the trailer) and never looks back. It’s indescribably wacky and presented with the visual and verbal punch we’ve come to expect from Wright and Pegg. The movie scarcely stops to take a breath, but it has a kind of internal logic that ties it all together, with a bit of social commentary, satisfying payoffs, and lots of movie-buff in-jokes along the way.

Most of all, The World’s End (which happens to be the name of the13th and final pub) is out to give its audience a good time, which the cast seems to be having from start to finish. It’s wild and crazy, in the best possible sense, and more fun than most of this summer’s tentpole movies put together.


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  • Viewster | October 9, 2013 5:46 AMReply

    I'm also wondering how well will the British humour transfer to Americans. I'm not an American, and I appreciate the humour, having enjoyed the first part of The World's End. Everything else was confusing. The author of this review claims "it has a kind of internal logic that ties it all together" - please, can anyone point out where it is or where at least a glimpse of it can be seen? I can't find it at all.

  • Norm | September 10, 2013 4:14 PMReply

    Hilarious over the top "British" humour, maybe more "international" instead, but a Very Fun time as Simon Pegg and Nick Frost trapes across the "Golden" Mile for some Very "Golden Moments."
    Attempting to relieve a "critical" night from his past, Pegg scavenges up his " 4 buds" in a redux deja vu quandry. Great writing, acting and directing ! Frost plays his part with Great understatement, classic...

  • George | August 31, 2013 4:17 PMReply

    This is the most entertaining film I've seen this year. And it has the most exciting action scenes I've seen in quite a while. If only Edgar Wright had directed "Man of Steel" or "Iron Man 3."

  • Delton P. | August 23, 2013 10:37 PMReply

    It is 12 pubs, 60 pints for all five of the main characters to complete the Golden Mile. But a whole lot of s--- happens on the way to "The World's End".

  • MR | August 24, 2013 1:06 AM

    Yeah, the 12th pub in the pub crawl was named "The World's End".
    But there is a 13th pub in the epilogue that Simon Pegg visits with his new crew.

  • Richard | August 23, 2013 3:50 PMReply

    Give him a break, he sat through some really crappy stuff this summer and saved many of us a fortune in bad movie tickets.

  • JD | August 23, 2013 3:43 PMReply

    I agree with the review. Quite a good film. As the humour is quite British, I'm wondering how well it will transfer to Americans

  • Curtis | August 23, 2013 9:17 AMReply

    Is that the entire review? Does he get paid for this crap? I've read better reviews from trolls on IMDB.COM.

  • Mike | August 23, 2013 7:31 PM

    And speaking of trolls....LOL

    I'll take Leonard's succinct reviews to the long winded reviews found elsewhere any day! Not that I don't vehemently disagree occasionally with Leonard (which is okay!) I've found that most of the time he is spot on. Like Dan says he gives us a pretty good idea whether I want to see the movie or not.

    Just wondering if Troll Richard is another one of those action flick fanboys who is still p.o.'d over Leonard's negative review of he last Batman or Superman movie.

  • Dan | August 23, 2013 1:16 PM

    Mr. Maltin's review tells me whether I want to see the movie or not, and nothing more. That is just what I need to know. I weary of reviews (and trailers, as the review mentions) full of spoilers. If someone wants to a treatise on the film they should wait until we have had the chance to see it.

  • Kaockkoo | August 23, 2013 1:21 AMReply

    Isn't it 12 pubs you wally nit spudlicker?

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