I start so many reviews with a true confession, and this one’s no different. I’m just all about the truth in advertising, me.
So, I’ve never seen Shaun of the Dead. Yeah, yeah, sue me later. The chicklet loves it and one day I’m sure I’ll watch it. I have seen Hot Fuzz, and I really enjoyed it. And The World’s End is the third film in the filmmakers’ Cornetto Trilogy. I love British humor in film, TV, and literature, and I enjoy Simon Pegg in most anything I see him in, including the new Star Trek movies, and I like a good comedy, so I was expecting to love this. A lot.
Only I didn’t.
I realize I’m going to be one of the only people not raving about how great this movie is, but based on this movie, seeing Shaun of the Dead isn’t a requirement anymore.
First off, I didn’t think it was all that funny. Clearly the people making the movie thought it was hilarious, but I got very few laughs from it. Possibly because the character Simon Pegg plays is a pathetic loser who’s pretty much trying to drag his friends down with him. (Oh, the hilarity.) And yet we’re supposed to be rooting for him. I can get behind an antihero, or even root for a pathetic loser, but literally half of the movie is spent with us watching this character be the biggest alcoholic dick in the world. It’s hard to want to see this guy do anything other than go to rehab and stay there.
And that’s the next problem I had with this movie. It’s no secret that it’s actually an alien invasion movie — the trailers play that up for all they’re worth. So, why does it take half the movie for the aliens to actually make themselves known to our intrepid gang of sorta-heroes? Literally the alien invasion stuff jolts and staggers in at least 45 minutes into the film. Maybe jarring was what the filmmakers were going for. Well done. But jarring and effective aren’t the same thing.
But okay, we rolled with it, waiting for the ending that would, somehow, bring these two disparate halves together into a satisfying whole.
Or, you know, not.
Not going to give away the totally out of left field, even more jarring, and truly unpleasant ending away. All I’ll say is that my impression was that the filmmakers felt this was the ONLY way they could make the Simon Pegg character seem heroic.
The actors gave it their all, and despite the dud of a script, they made this movie at least watchable. Great sets and costuming. (Yeah, I’m looking for whatever I can praise here.) And Simon Pegg came across as quite sexy, even though he was portraying a total loser, so well done hair, makeup, wardrobe, and Simon himself.
If you adored Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz then this may earn raves from you. As for me, if I’m going to watch an end of the world movie, I’d much rather see This is the End again — because that movie was actually funny.