Mania Grade: A+
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- Rated: R
- Starring: Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Martin Freeman, Rosamund Pike, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan
- Written By: Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg
- Directed By: Edgar Wright
- Studio: Universal Sudios
- Run Time: 109 Minutes
The Worlds End Blu-ray Review
The End is Nigh
By Chuck Francisco
November 15, 2013
The End is Nigh
© Universal Studios
Oh my goodness- The World's End. If there is a more meticulously constructed film that's been released this year, I can't find it. Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg assembled a perfect homunculus of a script, replete with concentric rings of foreshadowing and plentiful Easter eggs which reward multiple viewings. They then called all their friends together to imbue this mad creation with life. The World's End is the most eclectic good time to have blessed movie theaters this year (I saw it five times during its run)- but it uses that fun to gather folks in to discuss a deeper message.
This is the story of Gary King, a glory hound alco- and nostalgiaholic, who has never been able to move past the night of an epic yet failed pub crawl, which he and his friends embarked on at the ages of 19. Now he's assembling his Avengers for another go at this Thanos level endeavor. Of course as mostly successful and contented 40 something's, they aren't so keen on following Gary on his quest. There's a serious story here about the dangers of living in the past, about friends drifting apart, but before long the friends find themselves embroiled in an alien invasion clambake of apocalyptic proportions.
The World's End never relaxes its grip on the comedic throttle, offering a level of laughs on par with its predecessors (Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) but with far more call backs to itself than to outside sources. This wonderful interconnectivity means that the laugh factor redoubles when you come back for more. This isn't an experience which you find yourself sated on after one go around- plan to come back to the Cornetto bar again and again to hang out with this delightful cast of hooligans. The martial combat is a visual treat, as Wright knows exactly what you need to see and how much to expose you to. The more inebriated the guys become, the more their prowess increases. Gary's one handed drunken brawling is spectacular, but it's Nick Frost who absolutely steals the combat show with his transformation into the Pink Hulk. He is equal measures brutal and graceful; it's mesmerizing to behold.
Universal has absolutely honored this film with a bountiful release, packed to the bursting with extras. The combo pack (Blu-ray, DVD, and Ultra Violet digital) contains nearly four hours of special features. The "making of" feature is so beefy that it's segmented into chapters of its own to make surfing this wave of interviews and behind the scenes footage easier. Signs & Omens takes fans through some of the more obvious foreshadowing and Easter eggs (where the number of each pub is located in the background, for instance). Edgar and Simon's Flip chart, storyboards, deleted scenes and out takes, and a trivia track all add to the glut of indulgence available to chow down on. The most entertaining extra is the commentary track with Wright and Pegg- these cheeky gents are delightful and thorough in taking viewers behind the curtain. This is an absolute must-have, day one purchase for genre fans and smart viewers.
The World's End is being released by Universal on November 19.
Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Wednesday's Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a co-curator of several repertoire film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. You can hear him drop nerd knowledge on weekly podcast You've Got Geek or think him a fool of a Took on Twitter.