It’s been a hot few days and nights here in London – weather all too familiar from New York, but not comfortable here in a city that doesn’t really get icey cold air conditioning. A small fan just ain’t cuttin’ it, though the pleasure of a pillow fresh out of the freezer is truly outstanding.
So on this hottest day for seven years I decided a brief jaunt to a chilled cinema was in order – to catch The World’s End, finale to Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s ‘The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy‘ following on from the splendid Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz.
An almost eerily empty cineplex seemed very fitting for this sci-fi apocalypse tinged film, though from the very outset the plot felt somewhat less relaxed than Pegg & co’s previous outings. An overly long flashback sets up the premise – Gary King, once the coolest kid in school and now a messed up ex-drug addict, believes his only happiness (and perhaps salvation) rests in successfully repeating a pub crawl that failed 20 odd years before. This pub crawl, taking in the ‘Golden Mile’ of twelves pubs culminating in The World’s End of title fame. To achieve this he gathers his original friends, now all very settled down, and off they go.
Of course, this being from the brains that invented the zom-rom-com nothing is quite as it seems. Very quickly the plot transmutes from the simple plays of mid-life reminiscence into a sci-fi romp. Though original in its own concept, the film plays homage to many films (even somehow Lord of the Rings), and part of the fun is recognising the source. Unfortunately these nods seem more like the highlight of this outing rather than an added bonus, as the whole affair felt like a sequence of sketches and visual ideas strung together on a tenuous premise rather than a coherent whole.
The World’s End is certainly an enjoyable film, but nowhere near the heights of its stable mates. Perhaps it will turn out to be a grower, fingers crossed! On the plus side – two hours of being in a comfy, air conditioned seat was well worth the £15.