A well-deserved and proper use of an R-Rating! Cheers!
DIRECTOR: Edgar Wright
How can I objectively review one of my favorite movies by one of my favorite directors? Pretty much, you can't trust anything I say. I'm going to try to analyze the film directly, but you should take everything I say with a grain of salt. I really like this movie and I spent just the right amount of time away from it to really appreciate it again. I also that the blessing of introducing it to my cousin who really liked it. That definitely helps.
Edgar Wright can do no wrong in my book. People are back and forth on Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but I find that movie extremely charming while maintaining Edgar Wright's narrative voice. The World's End serves as the conclusion to the Cornetto Trilogy. The strength of Edgar Wright is that he meticulously plans everything in every stage of development. Perhaps we won't have the culture changing Oscar films from him, but he knows how to pack some pretty raw stuff into something that could be dismissed as popcorn films.
I have always gravitated to Shaun of the Dead of his three movies because of my ties to zombies. I also probably can chalk this up to nostalgia and the fact that this is where much of the world discovered this director. The World's End was always associated with the weakest of the trilogy, but still worlds above other movies.I don't know if that's true now that I'm older. Wright deals with the problems of aging and living in the nostalgic past. Throughout the film, Gary King, portrayed by Simon Pegg, stresses heavily his obsession with the past. Traditionally, this would come off as heavy-handed, but Wright uses this over the top exploration of aging to his credit. Wright often forces viewers to be off guard and forget that there is something to look forward. In fact, despite the fact that I've seen this movie at least half a dozen times, I keep forgetting that it is an alien invasion movie until the first forty minutes pass. Similarly, Wright's exploration on aging and the rose-colored glasses effect doesn't really gain gravitas until the conclusion. Those overt references force the viewer to lower his or her guard until the truth of all these moments are cries for help. The viewer is never really on Gary's side in reality, but his moments make sense and there is a sense of completion for Gary's trip through Newton Haven.
I don't know what it is about the drinking / drugs comedy subgenre that manages to find some real moments, but the good ones really know how to exploit their own formula into finding something deeper. The bad ones can go kiss off, but The World's End joins the first Hangover movie and Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle as experts in manipulation of the trope. The setting is simply that.
Film is great. It can challenge us. It can entertain us. It can puzzle us. It can awaken us.
Mr. H has watched an upsetting amount of movies. They bring him a level of joy that few things have achieved.