And finally, the finale. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the one you’ve been waiting for. The big finish. Out with a bang as they say. So hang on to your seatbelts, cus it’s a bumpy ride on the way out.
The movie opens with a voice over by Gary King (Simon Pegg) detailing his glory days with his four high school friends. He tells of how they embarked on “The Golden Mile”, the name for a famous pub crawl in their hometown that would hit twelve different bars along the way, ending with The World’s End. He reveals that they never finished the crawl, and this starts his desire to get all of the friends back together and try again. He somehow convinces Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Andy (Nick Frost) to come with him, and they begin the crawl at The First Post.
As the night progresses Gary’s four friends quickly realize that Gary hasn’t changed at all from his teenage self, which is not a good thing. But just when they are ready to confront him, they get into a fight in a bathroom with five teenagers who are not what they seem. It is at this point that they realize that the town has been taken over by some form of robots, who may or may not be alert to the fact that they know about the robots. So they decide (Gary’s idea of course) to carry on with the crawl in the hope that none of them are any wiser.
*Potential spoilers, you know the drill*
Eventually the group meets up with Oliver’s sister Sam (Rosamund Pike) again (they met briefly in another bar where she smacked Gary a good one for trying to get in her pants again) and they soon realize that Oliver has been replaced by a “blank” as they begin calling them. An epic bar fight ensues when their old teacher (Pierce Brosnan) attempts to convince them to join the side of the blanks, as its for humanity’s own good. They appear to be winning until all of the blanks they had destroyed in the fight walk through the door again good as new, apparently they have the ability to regenerate. They all run for it, and Gary sends Sam off in her car to try to escape. He meets up with the other three, and in their attempts to get back to his car, Steven is converted. When they finally reach the car, Gary peels off in an attempt to finish the crawl, with Andy hot on his tail. He reaches The World’s End and, when he attempts to pour his own glass, lands both of them at the center of the robots operation. A disembodied voice (Bill Nighy) explains to them that the blanks are part of an alien adaptation technique that is trying to get Earth ready to join a galactic federation. Gary points out that replacing every human with a blank is not the same thing and that humans will never go quietly if they are forced. After trying to argue with Gary, Andy, and Peter, the voice gives up and abandons the whole plan. At this point, all the alien access centers on Earth begin to self destruct, and while Sam returns to save the group, all of the world’s technology is destroyed. The film ends with Andy telling the story to a fellow group of survivors outside the remains of the city, and Gary is revealed to be travelling around with four blanks in the shape of his friends when they were younger.
*End potential spoilers*
While there have been many films about apocalypses, and aliens, and alien apocalypses, I felt that this one brought a fresh spin on the subject. As with the rest of the trilogy, The World’s End manages to parody a certain genera while still paying homage to it. While the invasion may be presented through the lens of 5 friends on a bar crawl, the fate of humanity is still at stake. Though I will admit, what I absolutely love about this film is that it never forgets that the majority of it’s main characters are absolutely hammered for most of the action. Usually whenever a main character drinks and then has to do something important, it’s like the drinking never happened. Not so in this case. By the time all the big stuff starts going down, most of them have had about six pints, which means they are staggering drunk. So kudos to them for keeping that in there.
So, if you want to see an apocalypse, an alien invasion, or just five friends attempting a reunion bar crawl, this is the film to see. Just pull up a chair, grab a pint, and enjoy a Cornetto with The World’s End.
“We’ll always have the disableds.”
- Guest Post by Wolff -