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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The World's End

Last night I went to see The World's End, the latest film by the British comedic trio Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. For the most part I agree with the bulk of the critics: It's a funny, heartfelt movie that goes careening off the rails at the end. Having seen all three of the films by these guys, I have to say this was the least funny, but the best overall film of the three. Though the premise seems perfect for a long series of romping set pieces--5 aging friends get together to finally complete a pub crawl they never finished when they were 18--Wright and company lace the storyline with a little too much bitter realism to make most of the gags stick. Far from being a criticism, this is what makes the movie so good. We begin with with stock characters, effectively a British version of the gang from American Pie all grown up, setting out to conquer their home town one last time, and end with an emotionally charged buddy flick that somehow teases out of a ridiculous sci-fi plot so many of the very real emotions we all feel as we grow older and find that life has not turned out the way we thought it would.