Oh, America. When we’re not chasing after NSA whistleblowers or hitting standstill after standstill in congressional hearings, one of the greatest, most difficult setbacks our nation faces is the fact that we have to wait an entire MONTH for the final film in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy, The World’s End. If history has been any indicator, this trilogy is far from predictable; Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are two wildly different films, and aside from trusting the talent involved it’s hard to form any legitimate expectations for The World’s End other than it being hopefully great.
While the movie’s still a month away from release over here in the states, the trilogy-capping final installment in the “series” will open next Friday, July 19, in Britain. While the whole “waiting an extra month” thing is an obvious setback, there is some sort of cinematic silver lining to all of this, and that’s getting to read early reviews ahead of time and hear about what we’re missing out on. A few reviews have already hit the net, and the early buzz indicates that Wright’s film is noticeably different from a lot of Wright’s previous work, but it still retains the classic spirit we’ve been hoping for. Below are some blurbs from some of the earliest reviews.
Time Out London, “4 out of 5″
But this is a tighter, smarter film than either ‘Shaun of the Dead’ or ‘Hot Fuzz’, and buried beneath all the blue-goo aliens and terrible punning is a heartfelt meditation on the perils and pleasures of nostalgia. [...] Wright has upped his directorial game in the wake of ‘Scott Pilgrim vs The World’, and after the halfway point the pace doesn’t flag for a moment.
IGN, “7.8 out of 10″
It’s not as immediately likeable as the first two Cornettos, admittedly; it’s not as funny or fast-paced, but it’s arguably the most heartfelt and thoughtful of the three. I suspect some audiences might not warm to such a change, but as the film rightly points out, to do otherwise is to become Gary King, resting upon wilted laurels.
Sci Fi Now, “3 out of 5″
[D]espite the arrested development humour and the fantastic soundtrack, there’s a surprisingly gloomy atmosphere as the group get drinking. [...] While it’s not as funny than its two predecessors, the decision to try a different approach should be applauded. We’ve already got a Shaun Of The Dead and a Hot Fuzz, this is something different.
Empire, “4 out of 5″
Bravely refusing to rigidly adhere to a formula that has been so successful, Wright, Pegg and Frost’s Cornetto Trilogy closer has tonal shifts you won’t expect, but the same beating heart you’ve been craving.
Although a fraction less gut-bustingly goofy than its predecessors, this sci-fi-themed quest story about a deadly pub crawl has more emotional heft, partly thanks to impressive supporting turns from Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan, dramatic heavy lifters who flex strong comic muscles here.
In a nice change from his usual genial character roles, Simon Pegg’s Gary is a pretty seedy soul – a man lost in the past, who is selfish and bombastic (despite being well meaning in his own way), and certainly a challenge for his old friends to feel sympathy for. His relationship with Andy is at the core of film, and it is great to see Nick Frost really come into his own as the gentle and loyal man whose tolerance is supremely tested.
Hey U Guys, “3 out of 5″
Though hilarious in parts, and heartwarming in others, The World’s End has the great misfortune of simply being branded as a “fun” comedy, and one that is sadly unlikely to amount to being too much more than that. Given the immense quality we have seen this trio be capable of in the past (Spaced, anyone?), it’s hard not to feel somewhat underwhelmed by this middling comedy flick.
Although the film is a little uneven, there are some very funny scenes here – normally down to either that old staple, the comedy drunk, or a beautifully timed putdown from Frost – while the final showdown at the World’s End is both hilarious and surprising stirring, showing it can pack an emotional punchline as well as a jocular one. Though that might just be the drink talking.
Total Film, “4 out of 5″
Like that nugget of pure chocolate you get at the bottom of the cornet, this is a fittingly satisfying end to the Cornetto trilogy.
The World’s End opens in America on August 23. In the meantime, be sure to check out Jeremy’s newest series on Geek Binge, The Wright Stuff, where we’ll be taking a look at each of Edgar Wright’s movies every week until the movie’s release.