FILM REVIEW: THE WORLD’S END
REVIEWED BY CRITIC, FILM BUFF & BEER CONNOISSEUR F.P. BLUCK
PLACE: 10:30 am, Hoyts Belconnen, Cinema 7
PIC: The World’s End
PEEPS: The Lovely Companion and I were about half the crowd.
The government electoral ad, but not the one for jobs, and the grating PillowTalk one with a bit of product placement*, plus a new one for someone building ecologically sound houses. More previews than I can remember, including Now You See Me, We’re the Millers, Pain and Gain, Kick-Ass 2 and Runner, Runner (Ben Affleck runs a dodgy online poker site, Justin Timberlake confronts him and there’s a non-virtual violence depicted). The LC and I played the game of thunbs up and down, and I suspect she has better taste, or maybe an even lower tolerance for utter silliness than I do.
For the film was pretty silly, though well-made and with some structure. Many years before, Gary King (Simon Pegg) and his four mates finished school and decided to do the Golden Mile, a pub crawl through their town of Newton Haven**. They failed, as teenagers will when confronted by quantities of alcohol if they don’t start king-hitting passing pedestrians. Years later, the friends (played by Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Nick Frost and Paddy Considine) are prevailed upon or deceived by Gary into trying to succeed as men where they had failed as boys. It gives nothing away that the friends have moved on with their adult lives, with some success, while Gary remains beached as an eternally irresponsible teenager. He is as embarrassing and irremovable as a drunkenly unwise tattoo with the name of the last woman one met misspelt or the Chinese characters for “No MSG on Request”****. He acts like an idiot because it’s not been brought to his attention, through the layers of self-induced addling. that he shouldn’t, because what is merely silly in a boy is disgusting and tiresome in a man.
The town has changed, and not in a good way. Some of the pubs are now, in effect, parts of chains of identical establishments and have lost the character they used to have. At least a couple serve Foster’s****. And the people are different, in a way which will not utterly surprise anyone who saw Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. Mayhem and special effects seem to be on a bigger scale than either of those films, but a pretty reliable supply of jokes and sight-gags, plus a couple of cameos (Pierce Brosnan, Bill Nighy) and a nice supporting role by Rosamund Pike***** keep the pace up and there’s even a drunkenly rational motive for continuing the pub crawl that is beyond any sober argument. An untaken opportunity to reflect on what maturity is supposed to be (rather than not be) and a clever mining of the issue of whether sane and considered behaviour is a necessary condition for humanity******.
No prizes for guessing the ending or its consequences.
Three flat whites. Local microbrewery chasers.
* – though it has occurred to me that the Ashton Kutcher piece called Jobs is likely to be an extensive commercial for Apple, and one we will pay to see. I mean, we paid to see The Social Network, didn’t we?
** – actually somewhere bizarrely called Welwyn Garden City. I mean, no-one calls Queanbeyan “Near Canberra Parasite City”, do they? Well, not if they’re talking to people from Queanbeyan (aka Struggletown).
*** – we’ve all seen NRL players.
**** – don’t mind me, I just made a spitting noise. Calling it Australian is like calling the old Eskimo Pie icecream a product of Alaska (though it’s branded with an inappropriate and obsolete name for a kind of native North American people).
***** – I won’t do “sigh” because the LC was there.
****** – it’s probably not – I’ve travelled on enough public transport where it’s been in short supply – but it might make things better if we could get around to it sometime.