The World's End (****)
Pub crawl plus old friends
Simon and Nick back again
They might be robots
POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD. The Mister and I got the chance to attend a screening this weekend of the Cornetto Trilogy—Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World's End. (Check back Wednesday for more on the event + photos!)
The World's End centers on a group of friends who, when they were teenagers, attempted a pub crawl of their hometown's 12 pubs. They didn't make it, but years (and years) later, main instigator Gary King (Simon Pegg) gets the boys (Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan) back together for another attempt. They return to their hometown and find that everything's the same ... until they're attacked in a pub bathroom by a bunch of teenagers who might be robots.
Once again, Edgar Wright takes a somewhat familiar genre and turns it on its head—with his typical humor and flair. Where it was zombies in Shaun of the Dead and action in Hot Fuzz, in The World's End, the genre in question is the invasion of earth. The story is realistic—to the extent that any of these movies are—and totally amusing. The humor relies on the ridiculousness of middle-aged men being drunk and trying to make somewhat sensible decisions while being so. I didn't find it as flat-out funny as Hot Fuzz, but that just be my preference for action movies.
Simon and Nick (and the other guys, of course) were all excellent in their roles. One interesting thing about this third film was the reversal of Simon and Nick's typical roles. In the first two movies, Simon played more of the straight, stand-up guy while Nick played the somewhat slobby, ne'er-do-well; in The World's End, Simon was the one without the life plan and Nick the professional with a good life and career. It's a sign of how good both of the actors are that they can do either side of the coin so well.
Basically, if you're a fan of any of Edgar Wright's films, or Simon or Nick, you're definitely going to enjoy this movie, too.