A man, sentimental about his teenage years, gathers his old friends for another go at a pub-crawl they failed to complete as kids. Robotic aliens complicate the mission.
If Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead are as goofy and outlandish as I remember them to be, then The Worlds End is weak by comparison. Because it’s part of Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto Trilogy” The Worlds End sometimes feels shackled by its genre. Then again in Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead the makers were working with genres that were already well defined. In The Worlds End they work with Sci Fi, which is a much wider field. The ideas were all there, but they were executed in a way that seemed clumsy and badly thought through.
Not only is it self indulgent, it’s also curiously self conscious, it tries so hard not to be like its predecessors and for the most part it succeeds…but it’s not really for the better. At times they just needed to go back to basics and not worry about being original.
The characters were also something of an issue.
Pegg plays the bum who’s stuck in the past and in that role he’s reliably funny, but the rest of the core characters are by design dull and empty. There was a real lack of zany characters to support the mostly boring leads.
And then there was the narrative: a story that never settled and didn’t know what to do with its premise. It was a narrative that was always fidgeting and provoked the thought: where’s a good plot twist when you need one? But with all this critical thinking it’s easy to lose sight of what was good about this film. It’s full of Edgar Wright’s trademark stylistic qualities and can boast a number of well-timed soundtracks. Yes it was a bitter disappointment, yes it never reached the heights of Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, but it can pass an afternoon, and rest assured it could have been much worse.