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Film review: The World’s End

Actors Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike and Nick Frost attend the World Premiere of The World's End in London. Picture: Getty

Actors Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike and Nick Frost attend the World Premiere of The World's End in London. Picture: Getty

I LAUGHED at Shaun Of The Dead, and chuckled at bits of Hot Fuzz. Now we reach last orders for Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s trilogy of pubby comedies about the British man-child. I went into The World’s End hoping for the best, but the best I could summon up after about two hours were some encouraging smiles.

The World’s End (15)

Film review: * * *

The World’s End isn’t without ambition. Like Shaun and Hot Fuzz, it blends science fiction terror with more personal fears. Andy (Nick Frost), Steven (Paddy Considine, right), Peter (Eddie Marsan) and Oliver (Martin Freeman) used to follow the lead of Gary (Pegg) at school, but 20 years later everyone except the monstrous Gary has settled into comfortable middle age with reasonable jobs and domestic set-ups. When he summons them to recreate an end-of-school pub crawl, everyone is reluctant, but they go along with it, for one night.

Wright and Pegg have hit on something interesting; a generation which mainlines nostalgia, yet gets discomfited by real reminders of its past. The trouble is, 
The World’s End has all sorts of other things on its mind too – the pressures of British drinking culture, reminders that fences and Cornettos featured in Pegg and Wright’s earlier, funnier films too, and ooh, look, a famous guest star. In the end it’s all a bit messy and the secondary figures look especially thin; Considine’s character used to be Gary’s rival, but that doesn’t go anywhere apart from a battle as to who can woo Rosamund Pike.

Also, how can anyone who loves real beer go into a pub and order Foster’s?

On general release from Friday

 

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