If I’m honest about it, come the end of the world there’s nowhere I’d rather be than down a pub, drinking myself senseless in good company safe in the knowledge that the apocalypse would have happened before I’d have to deal with the hangover. It’s the thought of having to do it with the people I knew when I was younger that terrifies me. I’m not sure which would be worse: the awkward conversation and inevitable one-upmanship or the mass death, destruction and end of life as we know it. At least if the latter happened I wouldn’t have to look at all their photos from Morocco.
The World’s End revolves around just this (possibly barring the holiday snaps); five old friends talked into recapturing their youth on a recreation of a legendary pub crawl by the one that never grew up. Instead of the almost childlike innocence of Nick Frost’s Danny Butterman in Hot Fuzz, Simon Pegg’s Gary King is stuck in the arrogant man-child phase of life. If Spaced is largely about a group of twenty-somethings obsessed with the culture of their childhood and teens. The World’s End is approaching middle-age and longing for its early twenties again. This is a film about more than just getting really, really drunk. It’s about using the sheer force of denial to refuse to let go of friendships that probably ended for very good reasons. But it’s also about aliens. Aliens that look like robots. Not that the film seems devoid of the usual spate of references, this time to the sci-fi genre. The trailer demonstrates a brand of alien that’s particularly Invasion of the Body Snatchers meets Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still.
This is the final film in the (supposedly) Krzysztof Kieślowski inspired Cornetto trilogy. Whereas Shaun of the Dead was strawberry for blood and Hot Fuzz police blue original flavour, The World’s End is mint. The green represents the aliens. Like with the other two films, Edgar Wright directs and Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star. Joining in on the epic pub crawl cum battle against alien annihilation are: Cornetto trilogy regular Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan and token woman Rosamund Pike.
There is a problem with this film, however; the marketing campaign. It is doing the film an injustice. The international trailer features voice-over man in a terribly discordant juxtaposition that makes me not want to see the film. Maybe the intention is Hollywood spectacle blended with small British humour, but it just doesn’t work. Hopefully this won’t be repeated in the film itself. The use of Photoshop on the character posters is also downright bizarre. It’s not entirely clear why anyone thought altering the pictures should be necessary; they’re designed to sell a film about forty year-old men, not Max Factor’s new alien invasion retardant line of foundation. They’d have been better off sticking with teaser pub sign artwork.
The World’s End is out nationwide on 19th July.