Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy: Why World’s End Was Such a Dud

Re-watching The World’s End (2013) the other day I was was reminded how disappointing it was, as a fan of both the Wright’s preceding Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007).

The World's End Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Simon Pegg Movie HD

In my opinion, TWE is truly The Godfather III of comedy trilogies – excepting The Hangover III, which is equally crappy, but in a different way. It’s boasts a lazy, nonsensical plot about an alien invasion of a small-town England, which also seems to serve as a therapy session for Simon Pegg’s previous alcohol-related problems. TWE remarkably manages to waste the talents of Pierce Brosnan, Rosamund Pike among others.
Dialogue that should presumably sparkle falls lamentably flat.

The World's End (6/10) Movie CLIP - I Hate This Town! (2013) HD

And Pegg turns in a performance which is both self-pitying and genuinely pathetic in the truest sense of the word.  I don’t get any sense that the quintet of school pals (Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan) in the picture would have ever been friends. And there’s just a sour mood of mutual grouchiness that pervades the movie from start to finish.
To be honest, they seem to hate each others guts. And the whole android/alien invasion story is tiresome. And although reviews were kind upon the picture’s release, I suspect that it hasn’t stood the test of time with critics who went gaga for the movie.
Following 2010’s naval-gazing Scott Pilgrim and The World’s End, Edgar Wright restored his reputation with 2017’s Baby Driver, but if I’m honest, after The World’s End I for one wasn’t exactly heart-broken when he lost the Ant-Man gig, which I suspect would have been blighted by his trademark whip-pans, zoom and hyper-fast cuts, which were since thankfully toned down. And personally, after horror (Shaun) and cop actioners (Fuzz), I had hoped that the third Cornetto could have tackled either ‘suburban magic’ or maybe a JFK style conspiracy in some way, rather than an unoriginal alien takeover, which was way too similar to Shaun in the pub fights , zombiefied hordes, and so on.
Anywho, I admit that I am looking forward to Wright’s upcoming Nic Roeg/Polanski-inspired psychological horror Last Night in Soho and his Sparks documentary because let’s face it, when he’s good, he’s very good.

Last Night in Soho,2020,Anya Taylor-Joy,Matt Smith,Filming in London

Any Edgar Wright fans out there? Were you a big fan of The World’s End? Let me know in the comments!

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Stephen Arnell

Culture Comment Content Provider. Portrait courtesy of artist Darren Coffield. 'Non satis me tempo'