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The World’s End

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The World’s End does not have the most original storyline, but it is full of the quirky humour and well-placed one-liners we have come to expect from writer Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz).

Twenty years ago, five friends set out on an epic journey to visit twelve pubs in one night in a challenge appropriately called “The Golden Mile” with the legendary last stop at The World’s End. They failed miserably.

Now, approaching 40 and achieving nothing, Gary King (Pegg), the self-appointed leader of this motley crew, wants a second chance. Desperate to recapture the joys of his youth Gary decides to reunite his old gang and finally conquer the Golden Mile – if only he can convince his long estranged friends to accompany him. With more success, Steven (Paddy Considine), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Peter (Eddie Marsan) and ex-best friend Andrew (Nick Frost) are less than pleased to see their old friend, but unable to refuse Gary’s invitation.

But New Haven has changed dramatically; it’s once lively people are sombre and eerily polite and oddly synchronised walking and impeccable postures. Something weird is going on in this small town and the boys are going to get to the bottom of it, one amber ale at a time.

As Gary King, Pegg once again channels his inner child to portray a middle aged man with a lot of growing up to do. His character is the cool friend you idolised in high school and the one you secretly hope to lose contact with as time goes on. Immature, irresponsible and completely self-absorbed Gary powers from pub to pub, his unyielding desire to reach The World’s End blinding him to the growing danger. Yet beneath his childish exterior lies the fragile heart of a broken man and there were some surprisingly tender moments as King is forced to confront his inner demons.

Nick Frost delivers an equally emotional performance as Andrew, a man who is still nursing some very deep wounds and it was strange to see Frost play the more sensible of the two. Despite his stern demeanour Andrew still provides plenty of laughs and is the standout star in what has to be the longest and most populated bar fight scene I have ever witnessed. Be sure to keep an ear out for Bill Nighy, who provides the voice of the film’s leading antagonist.

The World’s End is quirky, but it may surprise audiences to see that beneath the consistent swearing, lewd sexual references and excessive alcohol consumption there are actually some powerful messages about friendship, forgiveness and letting go of the past. The film’s one drawback was its lackluster ending which just seemed to run out of steam. Despite this, The World’s End is an easy and entertaining viewing experience which doesn’t expect too much from itself or its audience.

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