For me it took a while before Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz made it for me. When I saw them I found them good and funny. But that was it. After seeing them a couple of times I can honestly say that these films are more than just good. It’s also the technical aspects that really make them stand out. May it be the writing, characters and especially the pacing. So I was excited to see how many of these elements they managed to bring into the third installment of the so called ‘Blood And Ice-Cream Trilogy’.
The movie is about Gary King (Simon Pegg). A guy kind of stuck in the early 1990s. When he and his buddies finished school they decided to go on a drinking marathon. 12 pubs in one night. The last bar being the World’s End. When they first tried the run they couldn’t make it to the last one. And that’s a fact that bothered Gary for the next 20 years. Until he decided to ‘bring the band back together’ and go for another try. Of course a lot of things happened in these 20 years and his friends moved on with their lives. With a lot of shady talking and a couple of lies he manages to bring the group back together. So Gary, Andy (Nick Frost), Steven (Paddy Considine), Oliver (Martin Freeman) and Eddie (Peter Page) and finish what they started 20 years ago. While Gary is still stuck in the past, his friends moved on and that, of course, leads to certain conflicts. But Gary, being a really charming sleazebag, manages to keep the group together and on track. Soon enough they’re in their first bar and start to drink. A couple of brief moments come in where they start conversation about what they are doing now. They haven’t seen each other in years and they try to catch up. After visiting bar number three it all starts to fall apart a bit. The group is getting more and more drunk and they notice the people around them don’t behave like usual people would. Then Gary has to visit the toilet and an epic brawl breaks out. From then on it’s plain crazy and I don’t want to spoil too much. Lets just say a lot of robots and no stop until they reached the World’s End!
The movie is pretty much done by the same people who did Shaun Of The Dead & Hot Fuzz. And the style, characters and tone tell you right from the beginning. From a technical standpoint you can immediately recognize Edgar Wright’s directing signature. I never disected the other movies and always saw them as what they were trying to be and how these are as a whole. Shaun and Fuzz had moments that dragged a bit, and so does End. But Shaun and Fuzz had also a lot of laugh out loud moments as well as End has. So all of these 3 movies have an overall well balanced feel to them.
The acting I enjoyed a lot. Especially Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Taking a look back at the characters they played in the other two movies, they again play totally different characters in this one. And they do it in a belivable way. Gary (Pegg) being the kind of man-child who is not able to get over the past and Andy (Frost) who managed to move on and being successful in his job. We also learn stuff about their relationship in the past and how Gary managed to disappoint Andy. Which lead to them splitting up and go their own ways. Then there is also a dynamic between Gary and Steven (Paddy Considine) when their old love Sam Chamberlain (Rosamund Pike) shows up. While Gary kind of had a thing for her, it was Steven who actually really loved her. A lot of small character story bits that give this movie a familiar tone. If you ever went to a reunion with old classmates you know what I’m talking about. You start to dig in the past and stories come up and want to be told. That’s what they did here in the movie from time to time.
Appart from the serious elements the movie, of course, has a ton of moments for a good laugh. So the humour of the other two films was definitely in there and worked very well. Some jokes I can even imagine not working if it weren’t the guys from the other movies. That’s when the pacing and timing are very important and again it’s right there with the other two movies. One scene where Sam (Pike) lies on the ground, waiting for Gary to help her back up. And when sleazebag Gary reaches out he’s actually pointing at a pack of cigarettes behind her. That one could have easily fell flat if it wasn’t played as straight as it was. A perfect example where cutting, pacing and acting were just pitch perfect. Which made the joke work and me laugh!
One more thing this movies did right was the camera work and cutting. There are a lot of hectic scenes in this film as well as a couple of brawls. But instead of going the Hollywood route, with a cut every splitsecond and a shakycam that makes you literally sick, they managed to deliver pictures you were able to follow. There was still movement and motion in how they used the camera in the fight sequences. But never to a point where you could not tell anymore what was going on between the characters.
When I came out of the theater I had the impression it wasn’t as good as the other two (Shaun Of The Dead & Hot Fuzz) movies. But for some reason it didn’t took long and I came to the conclusion that it’s not better nor worse than the other two movies. Of course you normally compare these movies and what you always do is to try to find out if the movie was better or worse then the other ones. For me it was just as good as the other two. I guess I would have to see it again to really build myself a more precise opinion. But still, it’s a great movie and definitely worth a watch!