The World’s End

The World’s End is a 2013 British science fiction comedy directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Eddie Marsan with Rosamund Pike & Pierce Brosnan.  It is the third and final film in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, following Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). The title is an allusion to both the holocaust that happens at the end of the movie as well as the name of a pub establishment which is the final destination for a group of friends on a pub crawl.

Gary King is a recovering drug addict who has never really left his glory days of high school behind him and is the only one of his friends who hasn’t moved on and gone onto to successful jobs and family life. He tracks down his former best friends, who he hasn’t seen in 20 years, to take them on a trip back to their hometown of Newton Haven (none of them have lived there for a long time) and complete the “Golden Mile”, a pub crawl encompassing 12 pubs in the town’s limits. After their high school was over they had attempted it but two of them had dropped out mid way and the remaining 3 had to skip the final 3 pubs on the list when daylight hit. Gary persuades Peter Page, Oliver “O-Man” Chamberlain, Steven Prince, and Andy Knightley to join him in Newton Haven. Once they reach there they find that, although the town hasn’t changed much, no one recognizes them, even though the 5 of them knows a lot of the town folk. So they start off and drink a pint each in the first 3 pubs, briefly joined by Oliver’s sister Samantha, over whose affections Gary and Steven had previously rivalled.

In the toilet of the 4th pub Gary gets into a fight with a teenager and when he pushes him against the urinal, the boy’s head breaks off revealing him to be a robot with blue ink instead of blood! He is joined by the other 4 and while they stand in shock 4 more youths enter the bar, all robots, and fight the friends. After the fight Andy, who had only drunk water till now being a teetotaler, downs a few shots. Unaware of how many people in the pub are robots, they decided to complete the crawl and leave town so as not to bring attention to themselves. Several pubs later, the group runs into Sam again and Gary warns her of the robot invasion. Although she doesn’t believe them, Gary saves her from two robots impersonating her friends. At one of the pubs, The Mermaid, there is a high school dance fest, attractive girl robots try and seduce the men to steal their DNA and create their duplicate robots. Sam’s childhood crush Adrian appears, she panics and drags the others from the pub, explaining that Adrian had died in a motorcycle crash years previously. At the next pub, Gary’s favourite teacher, Guy Sheppard (Brosnan) tries to convince them to accept their fate and be replaced by robots. This is when Andy, noticing that a birthmark that Oliver had removed on his head has now appeared, meaning he has been replaced with a robot, attacks and crushes his head. A fight breaks out, and the group scatters as Gary convinces Sam to leave in her car.

The remaining 4 friends reunite but accuse each other of being replaced by robots and have to convince each other that they are human. As the robots reach them, they capture Peter. Despite this, Gary is determined to finish the pub crawl and after having a drink at the other two pubs along the way, runs towards the final one on their list, The World’s End. Abandoning Steven, Andy chases Gary through the streets. At the last pub, Gary reveals to Andy that he had attempted suicide as he felt that his best days were during their teenage years and while the others moved on to better things he was stuck. As Gary pulls the level for his last pint the bar lowers into a hidden chamber, where the two are reunited with Steven and a voice, calling itself the Network  welcomes then and says that the robot invasion of the town is one of 2,000 “penetration points” on Earth, and that it had been responsible for all of humanity’s advances in telecommunications in recent decades. It offers the 3 friends eternal youth should they choose to become robots, but they decline, belligerently arguing that humans should be allowed to be free. The Network, defeated, ceases communication and abandons the invasion. However the town begins to self-destruct and the trip run for safety and runs into Sam who has come to rescue them and they make it just outside the explosion.

Sometime later Andy is shown narrating this story around a campfire in the ruins of London, explaining that the destruction of the town was followed by a massive worldwide electro-magnetic pulse that wiped out modern technology and set humanity back to the Dark Ages. The remaining robots reactivated and are treated with mistrust by the surviving humans. Andy’s marriage has recovered, Steven is in a relationship with Sam, and robot versions of Peter and Oliver have returned to a semblance of their former lives. In the ruins of their hometown, a now sober Gary, who went missing from his friends, enters a pub with the younger robot versions of his friends and orders 5 glasses of water. When the bartender refuses to serve any robots, Gary draws a sword and leads his robot friends into a brawl.

Hilariously funny and exciting and just a romp of fun. I dunno why this movie didn’t do well at the box office. On a budget of $20 mil it only made $46 million back but has got a lot of critical acclaim. I love it. 8.5 outta 10!

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