Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Movie Review: The World’s End (R – 109 minutes)

A Cornetto is a delicious UK ice cream treat.  I would compare them to Drumsticks here in the states. 

What do they have to do with this movie?  Almost nothing, except that The World’s End is the third movie in the “Cornetto Flavour Trilogy” by Edgar Wright, featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.  The name comes from director Wright slipping a cornetto into each movie.  Shaun of the Dead features a strawberry Cornetto – mimicking the movie’s bloody theme:

Hot Fuzz features the blue-wrapped original Cornetto – to mimic the police uniforms.

And The World’s End features a mint – green Cornetto – to mimic the alien theme.   Of the three movies, Shaun of the Dead is still my favorite, followed closely by Hot Fuzz, and that puts The World’s End in number three. 

The World’s End features Pegg as Gary King, a hopeless alcoholic who suddenly realizes in therapy that his life will never get better than that one night after graduating high school when he and his four best mates attempted the “Golden Mile”, a pub crawl featuring 12 pubs, and having a pint at each.  They never finished that night, so Gary decides to get the group back together to try it one more time.  Each of the other members of the group are more than a little irritated at the suggestion, as they now all have respectable lives and jobs.  One by one, he convinces them, and they head back to their old hometown.   For the first few pubs, they are successful, then things start to go awry.

And by go awry, I of course mean that they learn the town has been taken over by alien robots who encourage the group to be ‘replaced’.  From that point on, the movie becomes a flurry of drinking, robot-battling, emotional friendship discussions, and a large final climatic face-off with the head of the alien ‘Network’. 
Wright is a very good comedic director, who also has the ability to shoot crazy big action sequences on par with Michael Bay – or at least on par with Brett Ratner.  The difference in Wright is that he can also tell a good story with plausible depth.  This movie could be over-the-top and completely ridiculous, and don’t get me wrong, in some places it is.  However, it also has some beautifully tender moments that delve into the friendship between the main characters.

The advantage to any movie like this is the real-life friendship of the cast (also, I love the fact that the filmmakers named each of the characters with the last name that reflects their role in the group):

Simon Pegg plays Gary King – the most outlandish of any of Pegg’s characters.  He looks bizzare with black hair, but plays the refusing-to-grow-up King with commitment.  He is more talented than any of us realize, and someday will be amazing in some Oscar-y type drama.  However, in the meantime, we get to keep enjoying him as new Scotty.
Nick Frost plays Andy Knightley – and is very straightlaced and buttoned-up until finally getting loose with Gary.  It is very interesting to see him play this character.  He keeps mentioning to Gary that he hasn’t had a drink since ‘the accident’, and when they finally have it out over that issue, it’s a scene that reminds you how good they both are.

Martin Freeman plays Oliver Chamberlain who (spoilers) is the first one of the group to be absorbed and replaced.  He’s fantastic, from the Office to Sherlock, get on this guy’s bandwagon.

Rosamund Pike plays Sam Chamberlain providing two Die Another Day connections in this movie as Pierce Brosnan also shows up as the former guidance counselor from the school.  She is strong and capable and does a good job as the only woman central character in this male-driven movie.
Paddy Considine plays Steven Prince who gets to compete with Gary for the affections of Sam, Oliver’s sister.  He has some good moments, including driving a car through a hole in the wall at the Hole in The Wall pub.

Eddie Marsan plays Peter Page and gets one fantastic scene where he beats up the bully that picked on him in school.  He also begins to doze off while some serious exposition is happening.
I thought this movie was very entertaining, and I did enjoy it.  It just so happens that I liked the other two movies more.  I think this one, like those, will grow on me with repeated viewings.  There are many, many, many in-jokes and references.  The fence gag always cracks me up – and that’s one of the obvious ones.  There are several subtle references to the other movies, as well as the fact that Gary’s opening monologue about what happened the first time they tried the Golden Mile almost perfectly parallels what happens to them the second time.  I really like Edgar Wright as a director (he could be the only person to get me excited about an Ant Man movie), and I love watching Pegg and Frost play together.  This movie is fun, fast, and entertaining. 
7 out of 10;  Gained points for the fence gag, lost points for the end of this movie being the start of the TV show Revolution (I felt like the epilogue made no sense, what is Gary doing?  Roving from town to town with his blank buddies, randomly attacking pub owners?  Maybe I missed something.)  Gained points for the first fight with the robots in the bathroom, alternately exciting and hilarious.  Lost points for the twins, and for one of them putting on the other’s legs as arms – creepy. 
Bonus Video 1:  Edgar Wright’s non-Cornetto Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: epic and fun.

Bonus Video 2:  Pegg + Frost as the droids you were looking for.

Bonus Video 3: The honest trailer for Pegg's Into Darkness

Bonus Video 3:  Cast interviews.

1 comment:

  1. Not as perfect as the other two in the trilogy were, but still hilarious and a bunch of fun to watch in its own right. Nice review Jeanette.