The World's End: What to expect from the final installment in the 'Blood & Ice Cream' trilogy
The final part of what has become affectionately known as ‘The Blood & Ice-Cream Trilogy’ (or sometimes just ‘The Cornetto Trilogy’), The World’s End arrives in stores on DVD & Blu-Ray next week. Despite the ‘trilogy’ name afforded to them, it should be fairly obvious that the three films from director Edgar Wright are unrelated other than the fact that they both star Wright’s long-time friends and collaborators Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Fans needn’t worry though; the three have said publicly that they are keen to work together again, so the end of the trilogy doesn’t mean the end of their collaborations.
What’s the plot?
Gary King (Pegg) has turned 40 and is undergoing something beyond a midlife crisis. 20 years earlier, he and four childhood friends attempted an epic pub-crawl on ‘The Golden Mile’ in their hometown of Newton Haven, but failed to reach the final pub, The World’s End, with the entire crew intact. Gary persuades the old gang to reunite in order to attempt the challenge again. All the friends are keen except for Andrew (Frost), who has become a teetotaller. The friends eventually manage to persuade him to join in as they resume their quest, but as they move from pub to pub they begin to suspect that all is not as it should be in this sleepy little town. As they try to reconcile their past with their present, they are blissfully unaware that it is their future – and indeed that of humanity itself – that is at stake.
How does this differ from the earlier films?
For one thing, there is a bit of a role reversal here: in the previous two films in the trilogy, Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, Pegg plays the relatively straight character to Frost’s overgrown man-child, but in The World’s End it is Pegg’s character that is the immature one in the group and Frost’s that has become the respectable, responsible adult.
The new film does also have a darker undercurrent courtesy of a subplot that reveals that Gary has been self-harming, adding an unexpected but commendable dimension to The World’s End that may surprise some given the previous films’ approach of playing it strictly for laughs.
Does it deliver?
Where the previous two films were inspired by zombie flicks and ‘buddy cop’ movies, this one is clearly influenced by the science fiction genre, but it is by no means a straightforward sci-fi film. The World’s End deals with the idea of alienation from your hometown and the feeling of helplessness to halt the pace of change, embodied in particular by Gary’s struggle to let go of his adolescent identity as a too-cool-for-school teenager and his inability to find his place in the world as a fortysomething.
It wouldn’t be ‘Blood & Ice Cream’ film without comedy however and in this respect The World’s End will not disappoint.
So should you buy it?
If you are a fan of the first two films in the trilogy, it would be rude not to. The Blu-Ray edition is a double disc package featuring a huge range of extras including outtakes, commentaries, mini-documentaries and even stunt tapes complete with a behind the scenes mini-feature explaining how they were performed.
The World’s End is out on DVD & Blu-Ray on November 25th
Watch our exclusive interview with director Edgar Wright below!