The World’s End has its moments and I did chuckle more than once but the characters, Pegg’s especially, are mostly un-redeemable twats though since for the most part they’ve worked together in the past, they at least share a friendly comradery with one another and it’s always nice to see Rosamund Pike in a movie…
Genre(s): Comedy, Sci-Fi
Universal | R – 109 min. – $34.98 | November 19, 2013
Directed by: Edgar Wright
Writer(s): Simon Pegg & Edgar Wright (written by)
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike, Pierce Brosnan
Theatrical Release Date: August 23, 2013
Features: Audio Commentaries, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes/Outtakes, Storyboard, Trivia Track, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.35
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Disc Size: 45.7 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C (untested)
THE MOVIE – 3.0/5
I must confess upfront, and acknowledging I’m in the minority on the Internet, that I’m not exactly ga-ga for Edgar Wright’s previous efforts, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, though I enjoyed both well enough with a preference more towards SotD. Wright’s latest, and apparent completion of the “Three Flavors of Cornetto” Trilogy, The World’s End is more or less on the same level for as Hot Fuzz: some funny moments but nothing outlandishly hilarious. Admittedly, however, it is creative so I will give it that much, something that other comedies fail to accomplish.
Attempting to recapture his youth, Gary King (SIMON PEGG) recruits old chums Oliver (MARTIN FREEMAN), Steven (PADDY CONSIDINE), Peter (EDDIE MARSAN) and Andy (NICK FROST) to go back to their old home town, Newton Haven, and attempt a daring 12 bar pub crawl, named the “Golden Mile”, they failed to complete twenty years earlier. Despite their misgivings considering everybody except King has grown up and moved on with their lives, they agree if not to satisfy him.
Upon their arrival, things haven’t seemed to have changed, though the décor in the pubs have and some of the people unexpectedly don’t seem to remember them. They also get a visit from Oliver’s sister Sam (ROSAMUN PIKE) whom, back in the day, Gary boinked in the bathroom and also back then, going to present time, Steven has had a raging crush on her though never had the balls to tell her.
But enough of rekindling old flamed and talking about yesteryear, the crawl must go on. However, with each pub, things get even more wonky and come to a head when, while in the head, Gary gets into a scuffle with a young punk and after slamming his head against a urinal, sees it pop off and blue slime gushing out. Yep, Gary discovers he was in fact a robot and soon enough, when his pals come in, are confronted by the punk’s buds and an all-out bathroom brawl breaks out. They surmise nearly the entire town must be robots though they can’t be sure.
Eventually Gary gets the lowdown from his former drug dealer Reverend Green (MICHAEL SMILEY) that they have been there many years, infiltrating and replacing humans with replicas as a way for a peaceful society that they hope to spread across the planet (or something along those lines). While Gary and friends plot their escape, slowly as they continue on the crawl as not to raise suspicions, it seems the few humans still there are perfectly content.
Now it’s up to the gang to get out without being discovered and ultimately assimilated like all the rest, although for Greg, his focus is more to get to “The World’s End” pub and finally finish the Golden Mile than about his own, or his pal’s, safety…
There’s always going to be comparisons with Edgar Wright’s previous two efforts, in the “Cornetto” trilogy, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and although it might be unfair as all they have in common are overlapping casts and some in-jokes, however, taking on its own or not, I just couldn’t get into the movie. Sure, there are a few genuine laughs and usually I like this cast, but none of them are particularly redeemable and that goes thrice for Gary who was simply an ass through the entire picture and remains an ass until the end. The others might be better but they’re kind of bland with maybe the exception of Paddy Considine as his few scenes with Rosamund Pike were sweet.
Still, I’ll give The World’s End this much, it doesn’t cower to anyone and is a unique piece of filmmaking. No, it’s not as complete as Hot Fuzz or has the fun nature and laughs of Shaun of the Dead, but the plotline is way out there and yet flows together quite nicely in spite of the mash-ups of genres (going from drama-comedy and transitioning to science fiction). But being unique doesn’t make it good and for all that I liked, I found the rest to be bland culminating with an ending which was cute but unsatisfying despite cameos by Pierce Brosnan and Bill Nighy.
I suppose if you’re into the humor, honestly British comedy has never been my cup of soda, then The World’s End might be for you and if anything, you can round out the “trilogy” and one day make a marathon of it.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 0.5/5
The initial Blu-ray release comes with a semi-glossy, title-embossed slip cover. Inside is the retail DVD Copy and a download code for the Digital Copy (both iTunes and UltraViolet). As with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, the Blu-ray is jam-packed with bonus material. Unless otherwise noted, all features are presented in HD.
Audio Commentaries – The movie features three commentary tracks: 1) Co-Writer/Director Edgar Wright and Co-Writer Simon Pegg, 2) Director Edgar Wright and Director of Photographer Bill Pope and 3) Actors Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Paddy Considine, the latter two of which are exclusive to this Blu-ray. What I liked about these is they each provide different perspectives and if you’re one for more technical stuff, the first two are for you while the cast commentary is a bit more free-flowing.
Completing the Golden Mile: The Making of The World’s End (48:06) – This is a comprehensive behind-the-scenes featurette showing nearly every aspect from the general filming to the fight training, though this is expanded on in a separate featurette.
U-Control – The only item here is a storyboard comparison. Shame it wasn’t used for anything more like Picture-in-Picture commentary or behind-the-scenes footage.
Deleted Scene (0:55) – The singular scene isn’t anything special.
Outtakes (10:44) – This is a wide selection of the cast goofing around and you can imagine with this crew, there’s plenty of it.
Alternate Edits (4:32) are some different takes with various line readings.
Under Featurettes, we get four short behind-the-scenes features: Director at Work (2:33), Pegg + Frost = Fried Gold (3:28), Friends Reunited (3:46) and Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy (5:13).
Filling in the Blanks: The Stunts and FX of The World’s End (27:40) is an expansive featurette which focuses on the stunt work and visual effects done for the movie.
The remainder of the features include: Animatics (11:17), Hair and Make-Up Tests (4:07), Rehearsal Footage (6:20), Stunt Tapes (8:46) of three scenes, VFX Breakdown (8:39) with commentary by the visual effects supervisor, Bits & Pieces (3:23) are alternate takes, There’s Only One Gary King – Osymyso’s Inibri-8 Megamix (4:36) containing highlights of the character set against techno-music, Signs & Omens (7:51), Edgar and Simon’s Flip Chart (13:08) on the characters and plot points as penned in 2011.
We also get six Theatrical Trailers and TV Spots (TRT 7:31); TV Safe Version (3:41) which are swear words dubbed over; Galleries of Production Photos, Animatronics & Prosthetics, Theatrical Posters, Concept Art and Hero Pub Signs; and lastly a Trivia Track filled with fun facts.
Previews – Machete Kills, Kick-Ass 2, R.I.P.D., 2 Guns, Jobs
VIDEO – 5.0/5
Universal Studios Home Entertainment releases The World’s End on Blu-ray presented in brilliant 1080p high-definition. The movie, shown in its original 2.35 aspect ratio, has excellent detail levels throughout and the colors look nicely balanced leaning toward darker tones as the film goes on. The picture does have some natural film grain but nothing unusual and the print looks free of any flaws.
AUDIO – 4.75/5
One wouldn’t suspect that a comedy would benefit from a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track but with the sci-fi elements added in, there’s a fair amount here to judge. The track as a whole has a lot of depth thanks to the few fights scenes as well as Steven Price’s energetic score while the bulk of the action, dialogue especially, does take place from the center channel.
OVERALL – 4.0/5
Overall, The World’s End has its moments and I did chuckle more than once but the characters, Pegg’s especially, are mostly unredeemable twats though since for the most part they’ve worked together in the past, they at least share a friendly comradery with one another and it’s always nice to see Rosamund Pike in a movie… The Blu-ray released by Universal once again is jam-packed with amazing bonus material and the audio/video transfers are top notch. If you haven’t seen the movie yet perhaps rental is the better route versus a blind buy.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.