The World's End
Okay... Before you all hunt me down through my IP address and stab me, please know that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. I also love pretty much everything that Pegg/Frost/Wright have ever even sneezed on. So, please don't take the things I'm about to say as meaning that I think they are shit/should die/will never watch anything from them again. Because that is just not the case.
That being said, I humbly present my thoughts on The World's End:
I enjoyed it. There... I got that out of the way. Being who I am, I came out feeling that I really knew where the film was coming from, that they were making a valid point about getting older and that we don't have as much impact on people's lives as we would like to think. Until I thought about it a bit more... Then some bits started to unravel for me.
From this point onwards please do not read if you have not seen the film as I'm going to start from the epilogue and work backwards.
The finale of the film shows us the demise of the small town and the apparent triumph of our beleaguered and drunken heroes over an alien invasion. We feel good that, in the face of adversity, humanity with all its flaws has won the day. Then we cut to Nick Frost telling the rest of the story over a camp fire and it begins to sound less like a lone hero saved the earth and more like a drunken loser unwittingly caused the genocide of not only the human race but the Blanks themselves, who now seem like they are a downtrodden servitor race.
The way it is described is that, because the invading force couldn't outwit a burnt out goth who seemed to have attracted a British Breakfast Club as an entourage, they decided to detonate the planet. To make matters worse, in the aftermath of this event, Pegg's character seems to have taken it upon himself to pick fights with the remnants of human civilization in the very drinking establishments that he was so driven on visiting in order to validate his own humanity. The patrons of the pub may have seemed as thuggish as possible, but I can't get over the fact that he walked in there with a bunch of replicants and started killing the last remaining actual humans on the planet.
After that realisation I started backtracking on a lot of stuff that happened throughout the film. The fact that no-one seemed even slightly bothered by the deaths of two of their companions. The realisation that they were ground up for fertilizer was glossed over at best. This left a foul taste in my mouth that none of the major characters particularly cared about each other in the first place.
This brings me to what I think is my major problem with this film when compared to its predecessors: It doesn't have the same heart. In Shaun of the Dead we cared about the relationship between Ed and Shaun. We cared about Shaun's mum and we even cared about Philip. This film seemed to go out of its way to make sure that we didn't form an emotional attachment with anyone.
It all left me a bit cold at the end. But, don't get me wrong, I loved the performances. Standouts for me were Paddy Considine, who turned in a wonderfully multi-layered character and Martin Freeman who did a marvellous job of becoming a creepy Blank version of his likeable character. Pegg and Frost are again amazing, I love that they've cast Frost as the strong one in the duo this time round, it gives him a whole new range.
The action is well realised as well, with loads of jumping and rolling and fighting. Although, in saying that, it did seem that the main characters suddenly turned into Ninja Warriors without much notice.
All of my mis-givings with the film aside, it is a fantastic watch and a good ending to the Cornetto Trilogy. I just can't help feeling that they either did too much with the script, or not enough. Sorry gents.