When talking about this movie you'll hear the title Cornetto Trilogy thrown around a lot. Yes, Cornetto is a brand of frozen ice cream but it's also how writer/director Edgar Wright chose to link his three films that all share the same cast. In Shaun of the Dead, the Cornetto flavor referenced was strawberry to represent the gore, in Hot Fuzz it was original in its blue wrapper to represent the police and in The World's End it's mint-chocolate chip, where the green nods to aliens. Personally, I find this pretty stupid and don't understand why fanboys have latched onto this tiny detail the way that they have because these three films have so much more to offer.
I was nervous when I saw The World's End because another critic friend of mine saw it a month ago and said it was the worst in the trilogy. When talking about the Cornetto Trilogy, using the word "worst" seems like an absolutely ridiculous thing to say since there is no such thing. Trying to rank the movies in this cluster is like trying to pick which of your kids you like best; sure you can do it, but it's tough and you feel icky sorting them. I'm pleased to say that The World's End is not the...er...worst in the series though. It's not as good as the masterpiece that is Shaun of the Dead but it's marginally better than Hot Fuzz.
Once again Simon Pegg (Star Trek, Paul) and Nick Frost (Paul, Snow White and the Huntsman) star as the leaders of a group of childhood best friends who reunite in their hometown to do a 12 pub-long crawl reliving their teenage years. Once there, they discover that their hometown has been taken over be creepy alien robots and they must save themselves and the town. Sure, the premise is completely bonkers but Wright's style of direction is so manic and gorgeous that you accept virtually anything he lays in front of you. That's made even better by the script that him and Pegg wrote together that once again stylizes a genre without ever mocking it.
Aside from the mastery that goes into that, the dialogue for this script is the most brilliant they've ever had. The puns, the one-liners, the brilliant conversations that are smart and stupid at the same all comes at a runaway train pace that can only be described as a combination between Airplane! and Monty Python. It's utterly amazing how fast everything happens and makes you NEED to see this over and over again to make sure you get everything you missed the first time. It's one of the few movies I've seen where there are so many quotable lines that I can't remember any of them because they come so fast. Not everyone will enjoy their sense of humor or understand it; such as an argument over pronouns or puns at the expense of obscure Shakespeare plays but damnit, when you get it...it's gold.
What's even more impressive than everything that's been covered so far is that Pegg and Frost are actually really good actors capable of so much more than funny lines. Just like Shaun of the Dead, there are moments of genuine heartbreak and emotion. Serious themes are addressed and never played down for laughs; they want you to take a second and feel bad for these characters. Pegg plays such a pitiful loser in the film that you can't help but to love him and feel bad for him as his sorrow gets masked with more and more alcohol and false confidence. It's a great character and his best in the Cornettor Trilogy.
The World's End is wacky and not for everyone. Yes, it does end with friends having a drunken argument with an all-knowing super intelligence from the stars but it's one of the funniest scenes I've seen this year. The guts it took to pull it off is staggering and the fact that they did with such flawlessness is even more amazing. It may hiccup here and there and overall the plot will be too silly for some but The World's End will go down as a comedy cult classic, just like Shaun of the Dead did, and will take a place in the Top 10 lists of many movie fans.