Wednesday, 2 October 2013

The World's End (UK, 2013)

The third film in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, this being the green mint choc chip flavour to represent aliens and sci-fi (green aliens? get it?). Yep the ragtag bunch of scruffy oddball Brits are back with more outlandish comedy the likes of which the Americans can only dream of. First time it was a horror parody/homage, second time an action parody/homage and now this time its sci-fi as said, I wonder if we'll get a fourth in say...the epic/historical genre.

Plot wise its a combination of cliched unoriginal rip offs from certain sci-fi films, at the same time its also an utterly farcical comedy chock full of toilet humour and childishness that solely revolves around drinking as much beer as possible. This is the main thing that surprised me actually, the main characters are all off to complete the task of the golden mile (a pub crawl through their hometown) and that's the entire focus of the film. Half of the plot, dialog and runtime is solely about drinking and the mindless banter that goes with it.

The writing is excellent no doubt, the squabbling and all male mockery of each other is first class and brings back many memories of my school days. But it was well after the halfway point, deep into the film, when I thought to myself, is anything actually gonna happen here or is this just about a pub crawl? Eventually something does happen of course which involves aliens that are taking over the human race, sorta. Actually it feels more like an idea from 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy' as the aliens are preparing us for integration into the galactic community and making us more civilised, something like that. This includes replacing some humans with clones or robots to carry out the transition a little more easily.

This is when we start to see the action and sci-fi elements of the film which to be honest I didn't think were all that good really. The way they have gone about this is visually pretty dull and highly unoriginal really, its not meant to be scary or intimidating but its just rather bland I thought, didn't really get me excited as it all kicked off. The funny thing about it is during all the carnage as the plot gets action packed, the main goal and focus for the main character is still to complete the golden mile and get a beer down his neck in every pub!. Admittedly amusing but pretty loopy as it also numbs the intensity of the fighting really, I was wondering what the point of all this was, just so the characters can complete the golden mile?? is that really it?!

The entire concept of this film is very retro, very old school which I did like, watching all the characters meeting up, going to New Haven and going from pub to pub were easily the best sequences (how many pubs in this small town??!). It plays out like a typical rude British comedy, very familiar. The characters themselves are good too, well set up in their teen years and then well portrayed as adults by the cast. Did anyone else notice a slight David Brent-ness to Pegg's character? the way he spoke and cracked his lame gags? seemed as though he's taken some inspiration from Gervais there if you ask me.

By the way anyone else notice that Pegg also slowly turned into his character from 'Ice Age 3'? the Jack Sparrow-esque weasel Buck. No? am I alone on that one? the voice and stupidly heroic overreactions? Still, Pegg's character was by far the best of course, the other guys just make up the gang really, they don't really contribute very much at all. Especially Martin Freeman's sister character, I'm not sure why that character was even included, take her out and nothing changes, wouldn't miss her. Must mention that I hated Nick Frost's role reversal here, the obvious thing to do for freshness of course but it just doesn't suit him, comes off as an unlikable character.

I just felt slightly underwhelmed as the film reached its peak and made its way into the home stretch for the finale. Nothing is really fully explained like where the aliens come from, what they actually look like, were those big thin metal looking things the aliens? what's the ultimate purpose of their penetration of the human race etc...I know its not meant to be a serious sci-fi but the whole thing does actually feel like it was conjured up on a night out to the pub, a bit flimsy, not entirely thought out.

Like one moment a robot/clone can be destroyed very easily with a punch, the next they remain in tact with a chair across the head. And why exactly do any of them even agree to carry on drinking after the robots have been revealed as if its just an annoying snag in the evening. Surely you'd be rather stunned and wanting to leave, plus I'm still not really sure why Pegg's character is SO obsessed with completing the golden mile after what is revealed. Drunk or not you'd notice stuff like this isn't quite right/normal.

This could easily be a new Monty Python flick, the plot is crazy and the filling that takes place leading up to the plot core is just a sheer celebration of drunken British middle aged men acting the tit and talking bollocks. That is literately it for more than half the film, drunken schoolboy banter, a guilty pleasure sure but somewhat light in imagination perhaps? Its still a good fun film for the most part, I personally didn't enjoy the sci-fi element as much and I don't think its as clever as people are saying. In short the first two films in the trilogy are far superior in my humble opinion but this is still a reasonably solid comedy.