For many a film critic, reviewing
movies soon becomes a copy and paste affair. But there are still some
movies that evoke an earnest, emotional analysis … and such (I hope) is
my review of The World’s End.
My fondness of the dram may be what initially attracted me to seeing The World’s End, but it is my love of the English language and seeing her decorated in splendor that made The World’s End steal
my heart. Who but the British could combine prolonged alcoholism and
eloquence of speech in such an entertaining package? To a boozer like
me who suffers from a severe case of erudition myself, I feel as if this
movie was made especially for me. In fact, so much so did the movie’s
lead character unintentionally copy me that my wife even remarked, “he
sounds just like you!”
Look at this beautiful description of
their quest (now forever locked away word-perfect in my memory),
delivered by Gary King (played by Simon Pegg) to bewilder their hostess:
we will be partaking of a liquid repast, as we wind our way up the
golden mile commencing with an inaugural tankard in the first post, then
on to the old familiar, the good companion, the trusty servant, the
two-headed dog, the mermaid, the beehive, the king’s head, and the hole
in the wall for a measure of the same—all before the last bittersweet
pint in that most fateful, the world’s end. Leave a light on, good lady,
for though we may return with a twinkle in our eyes, we will in truth
The World’s End is a story about
coming of age, reliving past glories, apocalyptic catastrophe, and the
general struggle our species has with remaining upright and civil. I
don’t think overanalyzing The World’s End will yield a particularly
better review, so let me just give it a bit of heartfelt sincerity.
King is a man on a mission: He wishes to reassemble his drinking
friends to finish some unfinished business in their boyhood town. The
unfinished business is this: ‘The Golden Mile’—a stretch of road
connecting 12 pubs in the fictional British town of Newton Haven. The
rules for ‘The Golden Mile’ are simple: The road is to be traverse on
foot and in a single evening from start to finish, with a pint of beer
drained by each member of the group, at each stop along the way. (Take
it from me, twelve pints in one night, whilst making it on foot to each
pub, would indeed be a legendary accomplishment for anyone who survived
And so the story commenced as Gary and the crew started
their conquest, bumping into old flings and pursuing the genital regions
of new partners. The blokes smash through pub after pub, as Gary King
satisfies that thirst only a true alcoholic knows. Sadly, wife, life,
and responsibility have reformed Gary’s mates, and they become
increasingly distracted and agitated at the realization that while they
grew up and became ‘model’ citizens, Gary has not changed a bit!
Just as the unbridled British humour is at its most captivating, The World’s End
vividly demonstrates that it is, in fact, a Sci-Fi film. The trailer
already let slip the plot, so I doubt I’d be spoiling anyone’s viewing
by saying that the intrepid boozers who are trying to relive their best
and worst memories become rudely awakened by the discovery that their
boyhood town has been overtaken by robots taking the posts of the former
But, of course, for any committed alcoholic, such a
predicament and the mortal danger it poses to the organic figures on
tour are hardly sufficient to abort the mission. The struggle continues,
one pub and one pint at a time until the riveting end of the
movie—something I did not foresee (a rarity in modern-day cinema). The
world as we know it awoke to the mother of all hangovers!
proud to say I joined in the amber festivities. I have a longstanding
habit of smuggling beer into the cinema, which helped me keep up with
Gary and the crew. While I did not do ‘The Golden Mile,’ it was the
Golden Isle for me as I emerged from the Golden Village cinema not quite
as erect and sure-footed as I had entered the theatre two hours
earlier. Luckily, my wife was there to keep me from trying to engage the
on-screen characters in conversation, and I made it home feeling
legendary and reborn!
I could sense through my spinning surroundings that The World’s End
has a deeper meaning that it is trying to convey to the audience, but I
still can’t really figure out what that is. I doubt that I am too
stupid to figure it out so much as too in love with the simplicities of
the movie to spoil it with my usual demand for philosophical
enlightenment from big-screen entertainment.
I’d prefer to think of The Worlds End
as the drunkard’s movie, to be enjoyed over and over again, accompanied
by a fountain of beer and the sort of shallow and infrequent reflection
that comes ex post facto the informal public bathroom fuck that so often results from overindulgence and lack of foresight.
The World’s End
is British humour in its raw, untamed, and unapologetic form—which may
explain why this movie flopped so spectacularly in Singapore. (It was
damn near impossible to get an evening viewing in one of the few
theatres that ran The World’s End.) There seems to be either some
latent bitterness for the British and their former preoccupation of
this island, that or the regal use of the English language in the movie
was simply beyond the comprehension of the average Singaporean—yet they
insist on keeping English as Singapore’s first language. And who says
Singaporeans don’t have a sense of humor … or irony?
To those who have English a little closer than a distant third language, I would definitely recommend The Worlds End.
It goes without saying that anyone who appreciates British humour
should see this film too. But particularly, I’d like to recommend this
film to all who have a thirst for life and all beverages alcoholic in
nature! Watching this movie, one appreciates that the drunkards
lifestyle has more thrill, more intensity, and more meaning than the
‘existence’ recommended by the contemporary and sober members of
The World’s End will be making it into my
Blu-ray collection and thereafter serve as the central theme to my
weekly weekend binge-drinking sessions at home. I can’t imagine a better
way in which to honour to this truly one-of-a-kind film! The British
prove, yet again, that they not only have the superior intellect but
also a rawer yet much more refined sense of humour than the Americans
What a damn pleasure it was not to smell, if you will pardon the pun, the stench of American-esque toilet humour comedy!
Laden with English academic enough to bewilder and exclude anyone who is not a native speaker of the tongue, The World’s End
may not be popular with the not-so-educated masses, but it is a
masterpiece for those who identify with the lifestyle of the eternally
young and carefree boozer. More than that, The World’s End is a
riveting Sci-Fi film with an original theme that tries to teach us all a
valuable lesson in what it means to be human and the imperfection that
entails—though magically perfect in its own way. The World’s End spoke to my soul and made me proud to be a regular member of those who pursue infirmity by way of the fermented brew.
my fellow vertically challenged crew I say toss that popcorn and slushy
combo into the nearest bin and smuggle in some frosty pints of lager if
you absolutely intend to ‘experience’ this movie at its best. I
guarantee you a level of immersion that no 3D IMAX Theater could ever
hope to equal.
After you have finished with The World’s End, take a look at its crew’s previous masterpiece called Hot Fuzz—another
EPIC British comedy that perfectly reflects the back-stabbing,
ass-kissing, and political squabbling people who just want to do a good
job have to wade through just to get to the end of each day. I assure
you, you are in for a comparable comedic (and cerebral) treat!
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