Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The World's End

Smell the Movies
Smell the TV


Country of origin:UK
Director:Edgar Wright
Genre:Sci-fi comedy
Starring:Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Bill Nighy,  Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan,  Paddy Considine,  Pierce Brosnan
IMDB link:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1213663/

Tagline:Good food. Fine ales. Total Annihilation
Favourite line:"What the fuck does WTF mean?"

The final instalment in the loosely tied Cornetto trilogy, this one seems to have been less favourably received than the previous outings.
Maybe some people need to watch more vintage Doctor Who.

The plot:
Urged on by their developmentally arrested ex-school chum Gary (Simon Pegg), four pals revisit their old haunt; the quaint, deathly dull village of Newton Haven.
Gary explains their mission: to complete the Golden Mile, a 12 pub 'crawl' supping a pint in each tavern so that now, as men, they can vanquish the demon of failure that befell them in their youth.
See, they never made it to pub 12 back then and, this time round, things start promisingly. Sure, Gary is an overbearing tit-fuck, whom none of the genuine grown-ups present really seems to like but, men is men, and they gradually warm to their task, the amber nectar being imbibed easing the awkwardness considerably.
Four or five pints in, things take a turn and, before anyone can scream Tom Baker's Android Invasion, the group are beset by an alien menace, blue-blood coursing through their impossible circuitry and, suddenly, the mission evolves from one of pure hedonism to one of survival itself.

Shaun of the Dead, the Pegg, Frost, Wright trio's first big screen outing, is so beloved, it seems churlish to even attempt comparisons. By fusing horror and Brit-sit-com sensibilities so seamlessly, the triumvirate essentially manifested a new genre unto the world, and that is lightning in a bottle that can only ever strike once.
With Hot Fuzz, their sophomore outing, the trio drew more heavily on Hammer studio offerings, as well as cultish fare such as The Wicker Man.
This time round, they opt for Brit sci-fi of the 70's, Doctor Who the most obvious exemplar. Indeed, the plot here is lifted almost identikit - save the pub crawl - from the 1975 Tom Baker story The Android Invasion, which broadcast in 4 parts on Saturday evenings, and featured Sarah-Jane Smith as the companion.
What, me, nerd?
Go fuck yourself.
Interestingly, here the roles of Pegg and Frost are somewhat inverted from that which we have seen before, with Pegg cast as the annoying one, Frost the ultra-sensible everyman. Pegg's character, Gary, seems to have been frozen in time, playing the overgrown college boy even though he is now in his late thirties / early forties and this is riffed upon extensively, though very much sardonically, Pegg, Frost and Wright cleverly alluding to their own extended childhoods working in the 'entertainment industry' with knowing nods to the infantilism of geek culture.
Though some have complained that when the sci-fi stuff kicks in, things lose momentum, here at Smell the Cult we felt the opposite, the lift given by the blue-fluid spurting androids a welcome distraction from the occasional navel gazing of the narrative.
Not ball-blazingly funny, perhaps, this was nevertheless thoughtful, occasionally bitter-sweet comedic matter, with enough nods to the world of cultishness to keep even the most hardened sci-fi nut happy.
And when compared to that other 'end of the world' comedy of recent months, This Is the End, this seems to have the sardonic wit and satirical bite of Charles fucking Dickens.
Liked it a lot.

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