Thursday, January 2, 2014

3 Short Paragraphs: The World's End

2013, Edgar Wright (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Shaun of the Dead) -- download

Graig pretty much covered the background behind this movie, Wright and Pegg and the gang. This is the third in the "Cornetto Trilogy", a silly toss away nod to the Trois Couleurs. But really, they are not connected by any means but for the director, the actors and the ice cream. What does connect them is the tone, the way the characters play off against each other, friendship and conflict. This movie may be about aliens and robots but really, it is about old friends reconnecting and re-living their pasts.

As the movie started, I really didn't like Simon Pegg's Gary King. I was not popular in high school, in fact I was the closest to invisible as a guy could get. The idea of that being the height of your life, when you were not even one of the popular crowd, is mind boggling. So, here he is, this jerk trying to recreate one of the pinnacle points of his life (which, independently, sounds kind of fun -- a pub crawl of 12 pubs in their downtown core) by dragging back all his old high school friends to their hometown for this one night of drunken revelry. The trouble is that only Gary is really interested in it and he manipulates each of them into going back. They have lives, he doesn't.

The debacle of a pub crawl is made even worse by the uncovering of a plot by aliens. Made even worse for most of his friends, as they fall to the body snatching aliens, but made better for Gary. He gets to pretend he's the hero of the story. But really, its Andy (Nick Frost) who is the take-charge heroic one as the guys continue the pub crawl while smashing alien robots, blue goo splattering everywhere. Gary does actually become more likable as the invasion is dealt with, less pathetic and more adventurous. The end of the world gives Gary a point to focus his life on, even if it comes at the expense of the entire fracking world. Jerk.

P.S. I know that pubs are more a part of British life than here, but really? A town as small as that one had at least 12 pubs in walking distance?  That is astounding to me when it strains me to think of 12 that were within driving distance of each other, in the small city I grew up in.