This movie had the same formula going as Shaun of the Dead. It’s a comedy and horror film, with feelings. You get the bromance, male angst, and the man-child that refuses to grow up (and is funnier than those versions we see played constantly by Danny McBride and Will Ferrell).
Simon Pegg is Gary King, who was a king back in his college days. Now he’s 40, and like the people that glance at Facebook lamenting the ex-girlfriends or high school rivals that are successful – he realizes he’s no longer “the King.” His mates have gone on to bigger and better things, all rather successful in their various businesses.
He’s an alcoholic, unemployed musician that wants to get the band back together for a pub crawl that was never completed. They have to hit 12 pubs in one night, and this means returning to their hometown of Newton Haven.
The chemistry and comedy between this group is hilarious. They consist of Nick Frost – the attorney. Eddie Marsan – the car salesman. Paddy Considine – construction supervisor; and one of the few actors that can make me laugh with just a facial expression – Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) as the realtor.
None of them wants to go on this adventure, but it’s so smartly written that when they show up at the train station, they’re still happy to see one another. They don’t sit in the crappy car Pegg owns frowning. They smile and sing along to the Soup Dragons.
It seems it would’ve been more fun for the moviegoer to not know that some in the town of Newton Haven have been replaced by…robots. Yet the commercials and interviews with the cast all bring this up. At that point, it kind of becomes Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Old School.
Here’s how you can tell sharp writing in a comedy. The Pegg character would be annoying the audience and make them anxious, if the jokes weren’t funny. Instead, his enthusiasm for drinking and talking at a manic pace, make us laugh at the resignation on the faces of his friends at the table. They can jump from humor to pathos so effortless, and that’s not just because these guys are friends in real life.
This isn’t just the boys club, either. Just as Emma Watson showed up in This is the End for a few funny scenes, Rosamund Pike (Barney’s Version, An Education) arrives and has a few of the men fancying her. The way Pegg goes on and on about the disabled bathroom stall being a place for a possible rendezvous will have you in stitches.
This is one of those comedies that was so humorous I didn’t take notes. I didn’t want to miss a single thing. Everything was perfect. Right up to the close-ups of the beer coming out of the taps, or one of the more clever barroom brawls on screen.
It gets an extra half star for using my all-time favorite song by The Doors – Alabama Song (whisky bar). It wasn’t just the use of the song, but the way the guys walk so perfectly choreographed.
See The World’s End this weekend, and laugh yourself silly. Perhaps you can use it as inspiration for a pub crawl the following Labor Day weekend.
It gets 4 ½ stars out of 5.