The World’s End Review: The Dangers of Nostalgia

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Based on the coming attractions for The World’s End, you would never guess it would be a film this cleverly crafted and poignant. But the same was said about Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, and now we have a near-perfect trilogy of comedy classics.

Edgar Wright, one of the sharpest minds in the business right now, returns to direct with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost once again starring (with the former also serving as co-writer with Wright).

This films follows a group of five old high school friends returning to their home town to finish the “ultimate” pub crawl. But they discover their town isn’t quite what it used to be, especially when it appears many of its citizens have been replaced by robots (which the “robots” claim in a running gag is the wrong terminology).

What we end up with is an outrageous comedy filled with satirical yet well put together action scenes and a fair amount of commentary on one of the most trapping feelings a human can feel: nostalgia.

Surprisingly, The World’s End isn’t just a film about British humor and out-of-nowhere action. It’s about growing up and moving on. It’s about how you can never truly recreate the “glory days”. It’s about how living in the past can bring you down and trap you in a certain mindset.

So while The World’s End may not be as cleverly crafted or thought out as Hot Fuzz (my favorite of the three), it is the most emotionally resonant, which is saying something when looking at a film that unapologetically smashes together a bar crawl and a robot take-over.

But it’s powerful because it’s a lesson we don’t see very often on the screen, at least as strong as this. Which makes me sad that this is likely the end of the Wright/Pegg/Frost partnership. After a film as strong as this, it would be great to see them squeeze in a few more flavors over the years. Grade: A-

By Matt Dougherty

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