The World's End (4 stars)

The World's End

The third part in writer-director Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy is a raucously witty sci-fi

Fittingly and rather sweetly this very British apocalypse flick takes its name from a pub. The World's End is the third part in writer-director Edgar Wright's ‘Cornetto Trilogy’ which began with Shaun of the Dead and continued with Hot Fuzz.

Simon Pegg (the trilogy's co-writer) plays Gary King, a man in a state of arrested development, still clad in the gloomy ensemble he was known for in his teens. On the anniversary of a near epic pub crawl Gary assembles his old school friends in their hometown Newton Haven for another crack at the dozen pub challenge. His reluctant drinking buddies are Andrew (Nick Frost), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine) and Peter (Eddie Marsan) – men who (unlike Gary) have very much moved on. Initial tension gives way to male bonding when these middle-aged muckers are called upon to thwart an alien invasion.

Set to a blistering soundtrack of late 80s and early 90s tunes The World's End serves up pints of nostalgia. There are numerous references to Wright and Pegg's previous body of work (including fun cameos aplenty) and nods to sci-fi fare (the whole film is a drunken take on Invasion of the Body Snatchers). Wright directs with typical energy and effectively papers over an absence of plot. The gags come thick and fast, consistently hitting the mark as they're delivered with aplomb by the likeable ensemble and – with Frost initially playing against type – Pegg ably shoulders the bulk of the film's one-liners. The World's End has less ideas and charm than its predecessors and feels more boisterously male (Rosamund Pike barely gets a look in as Oliver's sister) but it's a measure of the talent involved that it's still raucously witty enough to have you in stitches right up until they call time.

General release from Fri 19 Jul.

THE WORLD'S END - Official Trailer

The World's End

  • 4 stars
  • 2013
  • UK
  • 1h 49min
  • Directed by: Edgar Wright
  • Written by: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
  • Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman
  • UK release: 19 July 2013

Gary (Pegg), a middle-aged man emotionally stuck in his late teens, persuades old mates (Frost, Freeman, Considine, Marsan) to recreate an epic pub crawl – only to face alien invasion. Not quite as funny or charming as predecessors Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, it'll still keep you laughing until they call time.