“The World’s End” is a worthy finale to Wright’s comedy trilogy

After nine years, the journey that director and writer Edgar Wright started back in 2004 with his fun little movie about friends, booze, ice cream and zombies (“Sean Of The Dead”), the affectionately fan-named “Blood And Ice Cream” Trilogy has come to an end. 

After successfully spoofing zombie movies and buddy cop movies (2007’s Hot Fuzz) with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, there really was no better way to end things than by tackling the end of the world. And they handle it the same way they’ve handled everything else: with gratuitous amounts of swearing, dry wit and rampant alcoholism.

“The World’s End” stars Wright regular Simon Pegg as the former high school rebel, now cautionary tale/mid-life burnout Gary King. Frustrated that his life flat-lined since high school ended decades ago and his friends have gone on without him, Gary hatches a daring plan to “get the band back together” for one last hurrah in the biggest way possible: finally completing The Golden Mile, the legendary 12 pub run that they failed to finish on their last day in high school.

Needless to say, Gary’s friends are less than willing to accompany him, having long since moved past the point where drinking for the sake of getting drunk has lost its allure. But before his friends can ditch him and leave him to his own devices, they all stumble into the middle of a secret alien invasion of body snatchers who have taken over their old home town.

Against everyone’s better judgment, Gary manages to convince them that the only way to possibly get out of this mess alive is to continue their pub crawl until they reach the final bar on the Golden Mile, The World’s End, or else the aliens will become suspicious. It is the exact kind of flimsy logic that could ONLY be devised by a desperate drunk and could be sold to equally desperate drunks.

But Gary’s charisma and arm twisting (and his friends growing impairment) manage to pull his con through. Alien invasion and potential end of the world be damned: the lads of Newton Haven are going drinking tonight.

From the getgo, Edgar Wright’s unique brand of humor is out on the forefront thanks to a tight script that manages to dole out equal amounts of rapid fire qupis, dry humor and crude language. But even more apparent is the chemistry between the actors that makes it all work. While films like “The Hangover” series featured a lot of crude jokes delivered by people with next to zero chemistry, there’s never any doubt of the comradely between our heroes. The witty banter, inside jokes and personal jabs just flow naturally between the cast.

While the film really begins to hit its stride by the second act, when the invasion and the mad dash pub crawl officially commence, there really are no parts where you can say the movie“slows down.” When the action isn’t intense, and things take a turn for the bleak (and indeed this may be the darkest of the trilogy yet), the surprisingly strong character moments carry it through.

If there’s anything to criticize about “The World’s End,” it’s that the ending feels a bit rushed, and the alien invasion plot is almost regulated to an afterthought at times. But from laughs, to action, to storytelling, Edgar Wright’s wrap up to his trilogy delivers the goods. Beneath the drunkenness, swearing, and casual violence lies a movie with a lot of heart.