Concluding their loose ‘Cornetto trilogy’ after Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, The World’s End sees director Edgar Wright reteam with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, and the result is some of the best work they’ve committed to screen. Shaun may be almost ten years old (and their TV show Spaced even older), but the trio have lost none of their chemistry, with The World’s End benefiting greatly from these gentlemen being a little older and more experienced craftsmen. Wright in particular seems set on making the film his own, with lower levels of homage or parody than its predecessors.
As with their previous films there’s a strong genre component, this time honing in on late ‘70s/early ‘80s sci-fi (think The Stepford Wives, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, John Carpenter films and loads of UK telly). While this aspect of the film is gradually unveiled, the other major thread of The World’s End is on offer from the get-go, with Simon Pegg’s character spurring his 40-something mates on to revisit the best night of his life, an aborted teen pub crawl. Nostalgia falls under the spotlight just as squarely as sci-fi carry-on, but don’t think for minute that this is an overly serious film despite its musings on growing up.
Side-splittingly hilarious, The World’s End deftly balances its character work with lashings of comedy and impressive action sequences. These show how much of a grip Wright has on this stuff, hinting at what he’s capable of when he tackles Ant-Man for Marvel later this year. Bursting with great performances, full of gags, with more film references than you could shake a stick at and one hell of an ending, The World’s End is damn-near compulsory viewing.