Saturday 20 July 2013

Review: The World's End

World of Blackout Film Review

The World's End Poster

The World's End
Cert: 15 / 109 mins / Dir. Edgar Wright

The third and final outing*1 in Wright's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy has arrived, bringing with it a level of critical and audience anticipation not seen since… ooh, 1999? And in a similar situation to that film, I found myself a little overwhelmed after only one viewing. I loved it, but I know I only took in around half of what was going on.

The team we know and love are there, as well as a few new faces along for the ride, and while it all feels like it's taking place in the same universe, it didn't have that right-first-time vibe I got from its predecessors.

As the film builds up, I get the feeling that there are too many ideas jostling for position. The steady start and measured acceleration of the mid-section seem to give way to a third act full of 'oh, and we've got to put this in as well'; if the lead-in had carried the same level of adrenaline it'd be understandable, but it doesn't so the conclusion seems a bit, well… tacked on, somehow. I'd like to say that any quibbles I have with the film come down to pacing issues, but there was more than one occasion where I was sat there thinking 'right, hang on, what the hell's going on again?' These questions didn't stay unresolved for long, but the fact that I was asking them gives me pause for thought.

It also feels like The World's End has been slightly too long in coming. The two-year gap between Shaun and Fuzz lent them a sense of natural continuation. Seven years later, however, and with the core trio having worked on several other projects (with varying degrees of success), it seems like less of a sequel and more of a reunion we're watching. And as the characters in the film discover, half of a reunion is spent trying to fight the imagined memory of people and accept them as they are now; familiar, but markedly different.

Now that's not to say that I didn't love The World's End, and it's not to say that it's not a fitting conclusion to the trilogy; but it is a different film, even if it doesn't want to be. It's full of great characters, great performances, there was a smile on my face throughout and I guffawed frequently (favourite line: "Legoland"). I just can't ignore that it's not quite as user-friendly as its forebears.

The concept isn't particularly high, but Wright's execution of it just might be. As a standalone film, The World's End is pretty good. As the conclusion to the trilogy, it's pretty great.

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
You won't lose too much by watching it on DVD, but if you're a fan already, you'll be going to the cinema anyway.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?
Not really.

Will I watch it again?
Yes. Tomorrow.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
Yes. Yes, there is. This makes me happy. It is near the end.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
What self-respecting Goth would have a mix-tape of early 90's indie in his car, friend-created or not?

*1 Explaining to 'civilians' that Paul wasn't the third film in the series was painful, I can tell you. I don't mean 'civilians' in a film-snob way, I just mean that if they knew why 'Shaun' and 'Fuzz' were part of a trilogy, then they'd know why 'Paul' wasn't. Incidentally, clickers of that link will see that I've rated 'Paul' 7/7, while I've only given 'The World's End' 6/7. I stand by that, for now at least. 'Paul' had nothing to prove; This film, on the other hand, does.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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