|The World's End|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Edgar Wright|
|Music by||Steven Price|
|Edited by||Paul Machliss|
|Box office||$46.1 million|
The World's End is a 2013 comedic science fiction film directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg, Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike. The film follows a group of friends who discover an alien invasion during an epic pub crawl in their home town.
Wright has described the film as "social science fiction" in the tradition of John Wyndham and Samuel Youd (John Christopher). It is the third and final film in the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, following Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Hot Fuzz (2007). The film was produced by Relativity Media, StudioCanal, Big Talk Productions, and Working Title Films. It grossed $46.1 million against a $20 million budget.
Gary King is a forty year old alcoholic, who still retains the mindset and immaturity of his teenage years, whereas his four childhood friends, Peter, Oliver, Steven, and Andy, have all matured and each of their relationships toward Gary are presently estranged. One day, Gary, in an attempt to recapture the days of his youth, tracks down his friends to complete the "Golden Mile", a pub crawl encompassing the 12 pubs of their hometown of Newton Haven, the last of them being the World's End. The group attempted the crawl as teenagers, but failed to reach the final three pubs. Andy, now teetotal, is the most uncomfortable in participating in the crawl, due to a drunk driving accident that happened with him and Gary years ago.
The crawl begins, and in the second pub, the group are joined by Oliver's sister Sam, whose affections Gary and Steven fought over in school. Throughout the beginning of the crawl, the town residents appear eerily stoic and none seem to recognise the group. In the toilets of the fourth pub, Gary picks a fight with a teenager and knocks his head off, exposing him as an android. Gary's friends join him and fight the remaining members of the teenager's gang, all revealed to be androids themselves. The group realise that the entire town's population has been replaced with androids, and Andy abandons his teetotal lifestyle. Despite this realisation, Gary urges the others to continue the pub crawl so as not to arouse suspicion. As they continue, they discover that aliens intend to build a prosperous, galactic conglomerate with humanity beside them, but should any refuse, they replace them with android versions of the original human host.
Oliver is revealed to have been replaced, and Peter is captured. Despite this, Gary is still determined to finish the pub crawl. Andy is forced to abandon Steven when the androids attack, and chase after Gary to the final pub. At the World's End, Andy confronts Gary and the two fight; in the midst of the scuffle, Andy reveals his marriage is in trouble and Gary's sleeves are torn off, revealing bandages applied after a recent suicide attempt. Andy tries to stop Gary from drawing his final pint, but Gary states he clings to his goal of completing the Mile due to his sense that he has not and cannot achieve anything else in life.
Once Gary attempts to pour his pint, the pull of the lever reveals a hidden chamber. A disembodied alien entity, known as the Network, tells them that the android invasion has been responsible for the technological advances in telecommunication over recent decades as part of a first step to joining a galactic community. It offers Gary eternal youth if he agrees to become an android, but Gary refuses. Along with Andy and Steven, who had survived the android attack, Gary gets into a foul-mouthed debate with the Network, calling out the tyranny in the latter's plan and that humanity should be left to its own devices. Eventually, the Network, exasperated, abandons the invasion; the departure triggers a nuclear pulse across the town, but Sam arrives in time to drive the group out of Newton Haven as it self-destructs.
Some time later, the destruction of Newton Haven has triggered a worldwide electromagnetic pulse that destroyed all electrical power on Earth, sending humanity back to the Dark Ages. The remaining androids have reactivated and are mistrusted by surviving humans. Andy's marriage has recovered, Steven is in a relationship with Sam, and android versions of Peter and Oliver have returned to a semblance of their former lives. In the ruins of Newton Haven, the now-sober Gary enters a pub with the android versions of his younger friends and orders water. When the bartender refuses to serve androids, Gary leads his new friends into a brawl.
The World's End began as a screenplay titled Crawl about a group of teenagers on a pub crawl; it was written by Edgar Wright at the age of 21. He realised the idea could work with adult characters to capture "the bittersweet feeling of returning to your home town and feeling like a stranger". Wright said he wanted to satirise the "strange homogeneous branding that becomes like a virus", explaining: "This doesn't just extend to pubs, it's the same with cafés and restaurants. If you live in a small town and you move to London, which I did when I was 20, then when you go back out into the other small towns in England you go 'oh my god, it's all the same!' It's like Bodysnatchers: literally our towns are being changed to death."
In an interview for Entertainment Weekly, Pegg told Clark Collis, "People think we choose the genre first every time, and it's not true. We find the stories first. The notion of alienation from your hometown taken to its literal conclusion was how we got to science fiction."
After the story was complete, Wright and Pegg examined a list of real pub names and "tried to make them like tarot cards" to foreshadow the events of the story. Wright explained: "So we said, 'OK this one's the Famous Cock, because this is where Gary is trying to puff up his own importance.' ... We did go through and work out in each one how the pub sign was going to relate."
Principal photography for The World's End began on 28 September 2012. Filming took place in Hertfordshire, at Elstree Studios, Letchworth Garden City, and Welwyn Garden City. Part of the film was also shot at High Wycombe railway station, Buckinghamshire.
All twelve pubs in the film use identical signage on menus and walls, reflecting what Wright called "that fake hand-written chalk" common to modern British pubs. The exteriors of the real pubs were shot at locations in Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City, with altered signage.Letchworth Garden City railway station got a makeover as the "Hole in the Wall". Stunts were coordinated by Brad Allen of martial arts film director Jackie Chan's team. Wright said: "In Drunken Master, Jackie Chan has to get drunk to fight, but this is more the idea of Dutch courage. You know, when you're kind of drunk and you think 'ah, I can climb up that scaffolding!' Or just that you're impervious to pain. One of the things we talked about is this idea that [the characters] become better fighters the more oiled they get."
The Broadway Cinema, Letchworth, a renovated independent cinema built in a quintessentially Art Deco style in the 1930s, was used to portray the Mermaid pub. This cinema was also the first outside London to play the film, with a special introduction by Pegg thanking the residents of Letchworth for their help during its making; over 800 viewers watched the film at the cinema on its opening night.
|The World's End: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||5 August 2013|
|Genre||Alternative rock, indie rock, Madchester, alternative dance, Britpop, psychedelic rock, dance-pop|
|Edgar Wright film soundtrack chronology|
The film uses what the New York Posts Kyle Smith called "a brilliant Madchester soundtrack",alternative rock and pop music from the time of the characters' adolescence. Wright explained: "A lot of those songs are ones that really hit me and Simon hard when we were that age... [Gary] is still living by those rules. It's like he decided to take 'Loaded' and 'I'm Free' to heart and thinks the party's never going to end."
The soundtrack for the film was released on 5 August 2013 in the UK and 20 August 2013 in the United States, with the film's score, composed by Steven Price, released on the same day.
The only songs featured in the film that did not make it onto the soundtrack are "The Only One I Know", "Summer's Magic" and "The Only Rhyme That Bites", by The Charlatans, Mark Summers and 808 State respectively. The version of "20 Seconds To Comply" which features in the film is the mix from Silver Bullet's album "Bring Down The Walls No Limit Squad Returns" albeit edited to remove dialogue samples from RoboCop. On the soundtrack album, it is replaced by the Bomb Squad mix (again re-edited to remove the samples). The original soundtrack tributes the song "No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed" by Yes when the young characters reach the hills.
In addition to songs featured in the movie, the album also features dialogue snippets. The track list for the soundtrack is as follows:
The World's End earned £2,122,288 during its UK opening weekend, losing the top spot to Monsters University. Its weekend grosses were higher than Shaun of the Deads £1.6 million but lower than Hot Fuzzs £5.4 million.
In the United States, the movie was released on 23 August and earned $3.5 million on its opening day, beating out The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and You're Next. The World's End also had the highest per-theatre average out of all films in theatres throughout the country on its opening day. On its opening weekend, the film landed in fourth place with $8,790,237, behind Lee Daniels' The Butler, We're the Millers, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. This exceeded box office expectations ranging from $7 million to $8.5 million, and The World's Ends opening weekend earned the most out of all films in the Cornetto Trilogy.
The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported an 89% approval rating with a weighted average score of 7.4/10 based on 218 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Madcap and heartfelt, Edgar Wright's apocalypse comedy The World's End benefits from the typically hilarious Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, with a plethora of supporting players." The film also holds a Metacritic score of 81 out of 100, indicating "universal acclaim", based on 45 collected reviews.
Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+, praising it as "hilarious" and the "best" collaboration of Wright, Pegg and Frost, saying that "these pint-swilling Peter Pans also know how to work the heart and the brain for belly laughs... The finale is a little too shaggy and silly. But what do you expect after a dozen beers?" Mark Dinning of Empire magazine gave the film four stars out of five, writing: "Bravely refusing to rigidly adhere to a formula that has been so successful, Wright, Pegg and Frost's Cornetto Trilogy closer has tonal shifts you won't expect, but the same beating heart you've been craving." Movie blog eatpraymedia gave the film four and a half stars, calling it "...the perfect antidote to big budget movie making." Henry Barnes of The Guardian gave the film four stars out of five, writing: "With this final film they've slowed down a bit, grown up a lot. And saved the richest bite until last."
The World's End received two Critics' Choice Movie Awards nominations, for Best Actor in a Comedy (for Simon Pegg) and for Best Comedy, but lost to The Wolf of Wall Street and American Hustle respectively.