The Brits love dweeb comedy duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost: here's why you should too.
New British comedy The World's End has been released today (23rd Aug) in America and is the third in the tenuously linked 'Cornetto Trilogy.' First off, you should know that the title is the name of the pub that proves crucial to the plotline of the movie as the characters embark on that modern British crusade: the epic pub crawl. The movie serves as a sort-of sequel to 2007's Hot Fuzz and 2004's Shaun of the Dead in that the same band of UK comedy actors are employed.
We Brits love our dorks so there's little hunky eye candy within the trilogy's recurring cast of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Bill Nighy and Paddy Considine. However, what you do get is some of Britain's funniest comedy actors playing a band of unlikely heroes who will win over your hearts for their determination and the film's daft sense of humour.
It's no secret that British and American humour varies considerably: dry shows like The Office had to be remade with the humour slightly shifted for a US audience and NBC's adaptation of BBC2's Coupling still flopped despite its remake. The World's End, like its predecessors, capitalises on the British stereotypes: the do-anything-for-a-pint pub culture, the sleepy towns, the country bumpkins of regional accents and an inability to fight. The pair have battled zombies and a killer cult in previous films, now they're taking on aliens in another spoof horror movie.
The World's End begins with a bunch of friends who want to repeat the pub crawl they couldn't finish twenty years ago. Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz, Fun Fat Boy, Run) plays the alcoholic who leads the band of men who want to relive the drunken days of their youth by completing the "Golden Mile." Pegg's Gary is the only one of the group who has yet to settle down, with the others (Paddy Considine, Nick Frist, Eddie Marsan and Martin Freeman) all having long gotten on with adulthood. Bloomberg neatly sums up the film's comedy vibe typical to its forerunners, saying "World's End" deftly toys with bromantic conventions, initially stocking the party with crude jokes, old grudges, betrayals and booze."
The film's twist comes when the merry group realise that the neighbourhood's inhabitants have been invaded by alien bodysnatchers and so the head-ripping madness ensues. We won't give away the ending but it's no great leap from previous storylines. In fact, as TIME aptly put it, it's "as if Wright and Pegg came up with it after a long night at the pub."
Pegg's Man-Child Character Gary Is An Enjoyable Watch.
TIME compare Simon Pegg's Gary to equivalent leads in American movies, saying that "Unlike the American brand of bromance, where even Adam Sandler is meant to be adorable no matter how churlish his character, The World's End embraces Gary's boorishness-and more interestingly, the sadness of this dissipated pretty boy."
Vulture compliments Edgar Wright's direction, especially where the handling of Pegg's "w**ker and warrior" Gary is concerned. "Gary would be a pathetic figure [...] AA-bound in our therapeutic era - if The World's End were directed by anyone other than Edgar Wright," also remarking that the film could be considered the best of the three movies despite early wobbles upon its release.
Edgar Wright Applies The Same 'Cornetto' Alchemy: The Best Of The Bunch?
"Wright is an even better director now [than in the previous instalments], and the last half-hour of The World's End is one bravura set piece after another," Vulture praises, adding "The action is brilliantly staged and shot." It is also noted that as director and co-writer, Wright and Pegg "take a mere half-hour to distill an entire subgenre of American child-man comedies," with comparisons to the modern trend of bromance movies, such as The Hangover.
The movie may not have had a sci-fi blockbuster-level budget at $20 million, but it appears that Wright and Pegg have made a comedy sillier and more surprising than Hollywood is creating at the moment with US critics have been won over too. The World's End is out now and about to drink The Hangover under the table.