COMMERCE — Six years after director Edgar Wright kept the magic he struck with “Shaun of the Dead” going with the release of “Hot Fuzz,” audiences are now treated to the final follow up in his comedic trilogy, “The World’s End.”
Although Wright proves that catching lightning in a bottle is rather difficult to do more than once, let alone three times, “The World’s End” ultimately proves to be a fun romp, a fitting bookend to its predecessors and possibly one of the best films of the year thus far.
Simon Pegg plays overly-nostalgic man child Gary King, who rounds up his old high school friends played by Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine, and of course, Nick Frost, to do a pub crawl in his hometown that they once attempted after high school graduation but failed. Upon arrival in their hometown, they stumble upon a conspiracy with global implications and find themselves in a race to the final pub of the crawl, The World’s End, for their own safety.
“The World’s End” harkens back more to the style of “Shaun of the Dead” than “Hot Fuzz.” The fantastical twist doesn’t rear its head until the half way point of the film, which marks a shift into the territory of action comedy. The unfortunate drawback of these contrasting film styles is that each one has something missing from the other that would have made the film better as a whole.
The chemistry of the cast carries the first half superbly even though the humor has yet to kick into high gear. Meanwhile, the stupendous fight choreography, visual flair, and humor are incredibly effective in masking the fact that as the cast makes their departure, the fascinating dynamic built up by the first half begins to diminish into something of a lightshow, ultimately making both halves of the movie good but not great until the final third.
In the third act of the film, “The World’s End” becomes everything that it showed promise of becoming, with a twist related to two of the characters that actually adds a whole new layer of emotional complexity that ties into the final punch line of the film to create one of the best endings and climaxes to comedy ever made.
“The World’s End” takes a little while to really get under way but once it does, it becomes an easy contender for best film of 2013.