I was very satisfied at the end of the last film of the trilogy, at no point did I feel like there was one film that was dragging the rest down. I guess that’s partially because none of the films are related plot-wise, but it’s still impressive that the same people managed to make three movies that are similar but different enough to hold their own.
All of the movies have the mark of good filmmaking. They all take very recognizable genres and, while fulfilling criteria for that genre, also add a very humanistic element to the films. None of the main characters are two dimensional, even the ones who seem to be modeled after a stock character always have some kind of twist that doesn’t quite fit the mold. Each film also has great emotional depth, more than you would expect from it’s genre. In Shaun of the Dead, Shaun has a very moving talk with his stepfather before Philip turns into a zombie. Danny in Hot Fuzz does not immediately join one side or the other, he is conflicted like anyone in that situation would be. And Gary in The World’s End is not the teenage screw-up living in the past he seems to be.
Each film will literally make you laugh and cry, or at least stop and consider an idea seriously. Possibly most impressive though, is the acting. Both Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play three different characters in the three movies, and not only that but their friendship is different in each film too. And each performance is completely believeable! No matter which character they are playing, each of them commits to the role. There is no sense of overplaying a character for comedic effect, any overblown actions are just the character being the character.
Of course the serious elements are nice, and certainly give depth to the performances, but the comedy is just as good. Some moments even carry through each film, like some of the actors or Cornetto. For example, in each movie there is a scene in which a character attempts to jump over a garden wall and completely fails, usually involving knocking the wall down in the process. In Shaun of the Dead and The World’s End it was Simon Pegg’s character, but in Hot Fuzz it was Nick Frost. (Simon Pegg’s character not only clears the wall, he jumps three in a row, then flips over a fourth.) Each of the moments is funny in its own right, but when one is watching the scene with a different twist for the third time, it’s somehow even funnier.
Personally I think these films will survive the test of time very well. They have an aspect to them that allows people to relate very well to the characters, even the villains/antagonists. So if you’re looking to watch a good film, or even a couple of good films, break out the Cornettos and watch the blood and ice cream trilogy.
“Anything from the shop?” “Cornetto.”
- Guest Post by Wolff -