Saturday, August 24, 2013

Movie Review: The World's End

I hate to be the "It's really good but it's not Shaun of the Dead" guy, but that pretty much sums it up. The World's End is a cool SF flick crossed with a drinking comedy. It manages its genre-mashing well, but its use of tone is nowhere near as nuanced as it was in Shaun. That isn't to say the tone is bad - it's still light years ahead of most movies - it's just not as astonishingly brilliant as it was in the first movie they made.

The World's End might not be the instant classic Shaun of the Dead was, but it's still a hell of a lot of fun. Once again, Pegg and Frost are the leads, and - once again - they're fantastic. Simon Pegg, in particular, plays a character miles away from the ones he played in Shaun or Hot Fuzz. I've seen some critics gripe that he isn't very likable here; I agree with the assessment, but I liked the choice.

I've also heard some grumbling about the ending, but I liked that, too. Actually, I think the ending was my favorite part of the movie (in case anyone's wondering, I'm including both the plot climax and the afterword as the ending - loved them both).

Just like before, this film is extremely clever. The jokes are solid, and the story is well thought out. I'd also like to personally thank Edgar Wright for making a drinking comedy with almost no vomit. That takes class.

My only real complaint is that the movie kept the horror at arm's length. I almost never say this, but I actually think we needed to see a little gore to sell the horror. On some level, the antagonists just didn't feel all that threatening.

This is definitely an impressive movie. If you're a genre fan, I strongly suggest you make a point of seeing it. However, I'm not sure it absolutely needs to be seen on the big screen. There's more than enough to make the trip worthwhile, but I think it would play almost as well at home if you're looking to save a few bucks. But if you're a fan of Wright, Pegg, and Frost, you'll feel like you're getting your money's worth regardless.

Just go in knowing this is as good as Hot Fuzz, not Shaun of the Dead.