October 4, 2022
Ithaca, NY | 53°F


Review: Alien invasion film ends British trilogy

The World's End

Edgar Wright

Blue, robotic aliens have taken over a small town in England, and humanity’s only chance at survival is four pub-crawling friends. “The World’s End” is the third and final film in the “Cornetto Trilogy,” directed by Edgar Wright. While it may not be as funny as its predecessors — “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” — it is definitely the most emotional of the three.

Gary King (Simon Pegg) is a mentally unstable middle-aged man who yearns to revisit the last day of high school where he and his friends, Andy (Nick Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Oliver (Martin Freeman), decided to “conquer the golden mile” by drinking a pint of beer at all 12 pubs in town. On impulse, he gathers the old gang so it can finish what it sought to do 20 years ago.

The friends reminisce about memories both playful and painful, like Oliver being bullied as a child, but that is cut short after they discover blue-blooded robot-aliens have killed and taken over the bodies of the townspeople. The group must improvise ways to vanquish the invaders, leading to some impressive, but repetitive, fight scenes, which are well-executed but extremely formulaic. In each scene, the characters rip off the robots’ limbs and beat them with their severed appendages.

What separates this action-comedy from the first two films is its emotional depth. Pegg and Frost especially display this in their characters when a tragic backstory between the two is revealed. Unfortunately, this happens at the expense of the non-stop humor presented in the trilogy’s first two installments. Most of the attempted jokes work, such as Gary’s forgetfulness, but they are few and far between.

While it may not surpass the comedic expectations that “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” set, “The World’s End” is still an enjoyable and moving film.