In a Summer season exploding with numerous apocalypse capers, “The World’s End” resoundingly offers more on it’s agenda then one would come to expect. Let’s face the facts: the doomsday genre hasn’t been the luckiest with it’s inevitable cliches and rather disposable concepts, but here’s a film that breathes fresh life into it. And who could helm it better than Edgar Wright, an experienced innovator himself? After inventing dazzlingly creative movies such as “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” as well as the quirky “Hot Fuzz”, this British auteur shows an even more daring streak with this action-comedy. Like an experimental musician, his aim is to pull off new wonders with each project. If “Hot Fuzz” was a buddy-cop comedy, “The World’s End” sees him weaving together a jarringly lively and pulse-pounding exciting mix of sci-fi and comedy. These genres haven’t exactly proved to be the best of pairings in modern-day Cinema yet Wright, a creator at heart, makes it seem like they were meant to collide.
Luckily enough, he isn’t alone in this venture into originality. Let loose off the chain is a star-studded cast that’s completely at the top of it’s game.
Fresh off his comical role in the recent “Star Trek” sequel, Simon Pegg is more vivid, upbeat and charismatic than he has ever been before in his career. In what is arguably one of his most memorable performances, this performer lights up the screen with utterly irresistible joy and delight. Despite the massively overbearing nature of his character, you can’t help but fall in love with Pegg’s absolutely wondrous presence. It’s the passion of such acting that like a cup of coffee, gives this laugh-vehicle an unstoppable energy.
Even if Pegg outshines the rest of the performers, they brilliantly follow in his footsteps. Not only do actors such as Nick Frost, Paddy Considine and Eddy Marsan turn out to be hilarious, they also have starkly larger-than-life chemistry. Perhaps, the greatest compliment that can be given here is their interactions don’t seem staged at all. Like an everlasting musical band, the stars seem like they’ve worked with each other, as well as known each other inside-out for years. It isn’t often that you come across that level of depth in a comedy.
What’s most fascinating about “The World’s End”, though, isn’t Edgar Wright’s use of his performers but more so the daring paths he takes as a director. Just when the movie appears to be heading into familiar territory, the filmmaker takes a brave leap of faith by totally changing directions. It’s a quickly introduced change of events that although abrupt in nature, actually work. Wright draws you into the lives of the characters so well in the first-half, that however bizarre and rushed the events are in the second, the auteur miraculously disguises them with splendid writing.
His screenplay, which also credits Simon Pegg, is the beating heart of the film. Filled with quick-witted conversations, colorful characters and above all, a rare playfulness, it’s a victory to behold. Following Quentin Tarantino’s style as a writer, Wright places much importance on dialogue. The movie’s most intriguing scenes are the ones where characters are merely speaking to each other, bursting with quirkiness and a truly marvelous sense of comedic timing.
As for the comedy itself, it’s rapid-fire consistent in terms of delivering humor and even more rewardingly, different from usual comedic fare. For those who are growing sick of the crude and over-the-top nature of comedies these days, this laugh-vehicle is an undeniable refreshment. Unlike the line-up of laugh-caterers that Hollywood usually produces, it’s sense of humor is surprisingly versatile. Instead of only throwing absurd, dirty jokes around for the sake of it, the filmmakers create natural humor that hardly ever found in the genre. Most of this movie’s laughs- the funniest at the very least- come out of the unlikeliest of circumstances: facial expressions, rat-a-tat sharp dialogue and actual character moments.
As a whole, “The World’s End” offers a hell of great time at the movies. In spite of a running time that’s a tad too long, and could have been trimmed down significantly, Edgar Wright and his cast knock this one out of the park. There’s no shortage of energy as the filmmaker relentlessly aims to tickle your bones, and no lack of surprise either since you can’t predict any moves made by his comedy-caper.
Summer may have come to an end, but don’t let that stop you from watching the utterly hilarious entertainment that is “The World’s End”.