We were pleasantly surprised when they dropped the zombie riff “Shaun Of The Dead,” we were more than pleased to see them keep up the quality and laughs in the buddy cop romp “Hot Fuzz,” but could Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do it again? Could they say goodbye to the Cornetto trilogy and still keep the freshness, creativity, humor and inventiveness alive? Well, by most early accounts, the answer seems to be yes.
Though it’s not due to open in U.S. theaters until August, across the pond, the U.K. gets “The World’s End” next week and today the first reviews have come trickling out. They are mostly very, very positive. As you know, this final chapter finds Frost and Pegg teamed once again, this time rounded out by Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Rosamund Pike, playing some blokes who reunite with some old friends to recreate an epic pub crawl from their youth. There’s just one problem…yeah, robot/alien things who have come to take over the world.
Yes, it’s another genre riff but as these reviews suggest, it’s a winner with a much bigger heart than expected. Check out the early notices below — “The World’s End” arrives here on August 23rd.
Total Film: “… this is a tighter, smarter film than either ‘Shaun of the Dead’ or ‘Hot Fuzz’, and buried beneath all the blue-goo aliens and terrible punning is a heartfelt meditation on the perils and pleasures of nostalgia…the film is carried through on sheer, giddy energy.”
Screen Daily: “There are a smattering of cameos – [that] critics have been asked not to reveal – some predictable and one not, but they don’t detract from what is essentially the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost show. They have delivered a smart, savvy, entertaining and genuinely funny film…and while the ending is familiar, it is also reassuringly correct and impressively staged.”
SciFiNow: “The cast are on excellent form, the action is fantastic, and there are some very funny moments. The film’s contemplation of lost youth and the fidelity to the tone, without making constant reference to its inspirations makes ‘The World’s End’ a lot more interesting than another whip-pan-packed reference-fest would have been, and the characters’ acceptance that they need to grow up and move on makes it an affecting, entertaining, if uneven conclusion to a fantastic trilogy.”
Empire: “Bravely refusing to rigidly adhere to a formula that has been so successful, Wright, Pegg and Frost’s Cornetto Trilogy closer has tonal shifts you won’t expect, but the same beating heart you’ve been craving.”
IGN: “It would’ve been easy to regress, to rehash the winning formula of ‘Shaun’ or ‘Hot Fuzz,’ but ‘The World’s End’ doesn’t ignore the passage of time – in fact, it becomes one of the film’s central themes. It’s not as immediately likeable as the first two Cornettos, admittedly; it’s not as funny or fast-paced, but it’s arguably the most heartfelt and thoughtful of the three.”
Variety: “Although a fraction less gut-bustingly goofy than its predecessors, this sci-fi-themed quest story about a deadly pub crawl has more emotional heft, partly thanks to impressive supporting turns from Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan, dramatic heavy lifters who flex strong comic muscles here.”
THR: “At once a ‘Big Chill’-style old-pal reunion story and an Invasion of the Body Snatchers homage doused in beer and bad-boy humor, this third collaboration (after ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’) between the duo and co-star Nick Frost is a fast and funny action comedy undercut by moments of midlife nostalgia — the whole shebang held together by terrifically wrought performances, especially from the punch-drunk Pegg.”