The World's End (2013)
September 12, 2014 8:21 PM - Subscribe

Five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind's only hope for survival.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (27 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I still laugh every time Gary King marvels at how cute he is!
posted by mochapickle at 11:31 PM on September 12, 2014 [3 favorites]

I think I mentioned this in the Metafilter thread back in the day, but never has a movie made me more thirsty for a pint. I realize given the theme that's slightly... inappropriate, but Mrs. Selfnoise and I had to find the nearest pub immediately upon exiting the theatre.

I think I like Hot Fuzz the best of these three films, but I think World's End was the best at recapturing the abrupt tonal shifts of Spaced. Also I love the incredibly trollish ending.
posted by selfnoise at 4:07 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

This one was pretty disappointing to me, especially after Scott Pilgrim. It just seemed like Wright was going through the motions and relying too much on his patented visual quirks. I think that I might have laughed a handful of times but most of it fell pretty flat for me.
posted by octothorpe at 4:41 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

The message I took away from this movie was that it's really OK not to live up to someone else's ideal of your potential. It's OK to just be out there in the universe doing (or not doing) whatever weird thing you do or don't choose to do. Which was for me, at the time I watched it, this particularly cathartic and freeing thing.

I think several folks were disappointed in this one. And yeah, I didn't love this movie as much as I loved Shaun or Fuzz, but the fact that my love for TWO isn't superlative makes me like the movie more. TWO is just out there, doing its thing, regardless of whether it lives up to what we think its potential was.

For me, that's pretty satisfying in a meta sort of way.
posted by mochapickle at 5:37 AM on September 13, 2014 [6 favorites]

I've done my best to introduce everyone I know to Shaun of the Dead, I liked Hot Fuzz (if not as much), Run, Fat Boy, Run was delightful and thinking about Spaced still makes me laugh.

After all that, I was primed to like TWE but it just didn't work for me. I don't hate it like I hated Scott Pilgrim, though, so there's that.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 6:20 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I just realized I typed TWO instead of TWE. My comment also did not live up to its potential. Ha!
posted by mochapickle at 7:04 AM on September 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

I think the thing with TWE is realizing that it's a King Arthur story; in that way it is very different from the other two films of the Cornetto trilogy (not that TWE isn't a loving homage/look at a genre like the the other two, but it's also a King Arthur and the Holy Grail story inside of that). That creates a real tonal difference in the film compared to the other two. Not to mention the absolutely wonderful way the movie gets you believing this will be a film about Gary growing up and dealing with his problems, and then turns it all on its head in a wonderful fight scene in the bathroom.

Also, for me, the key moment of understanding and liking the film came with the realization that Gary wasn't in the hospital as a recovering addict - Gary was in the hospital for a suicide attempt. And it's not that he thinks drinking that 12th pint is his salvation and chance to start living, as the link above has it - it's that finishing the quest means he can die; Gary is not planning to survive long after it's completion. For Gary, reliving that night is about ending his world. But along the way, it turns into a reason to live - a world that has a place for a Gary, King of the Humans.

The Metafilter post on the movie, which has a lot of good discussion, I thought.
posted by nubs at 7:59 AM on September 13, 2014 [19 favorites]

I think a lot of people where going in expecting a more Hot Fuzz type raucous comedy and not say, a sober meditation on being in your 40s and fucked up and living in the past. I mean, without the ending, this is a pretty dire movie about hopeless people - I love the King Arthur explaination, but I always felt like the Sci-FI elements where tacked onto a comedy of suicidal mid life crisis.

I will say this, it is the most aggressively surbubian English of any movie I have ever seen. Whatever that tone is, it nails it to the god damned wall.
posted by The Whelk at 8:27 AM on September 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

Suburban definitely has a different meaning in the UK. That all looked pretty urban to this American. Sidewalks and storefronts and such.
posted by octothorpe at 9:03 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Garden City! I'm pretty sure it was a new town, planned small scale developments for urban workers built in the midcentury.
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 AM on September 13, 2014

It's Welwyn Garden City, it's the archetypical new town.
posted by Artw at 10:02 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

(I think bits of it might be Letchworth, which is a similar deal.)
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on September 13, 2014

Welwyn's actually a somewhat atypical New Town: a Garden City of the 20s becoming a New Town in the 40s. Which would be why most of the pubs that TWE filmed are quite traditional.

Milton Keynes would be the sterotype, surely? And Stevenage is a very typical New Town.

I'm from Harlow which I'd also hold up as a good example of a New Town: new highly-planned development, much of it fairly modernist, swallowing existing villages and hamlets. So you get a lot of concrete in the Town Centre; but as you move out into the suburbs, a lot of older buildings. The pub on the street we lived on when I was a teenager: The Hare, a listed building dating (in part) back to the 17th century.

But when I was a young child we lived in Bishopsfield, a new estate; some photos here. I don't remember it as quite so brutal; but I was just a little kid at the time.

Not such a bad place to grow up. As a town-planned development there were lots of facilities for kids: playgrounds, sportscentres, parks, an extensive network of bike paths. And all of it very walkable and bikable.

As an adult, though: The World's End really nails the feeling that your new town is a place that you either escape or get trapped in. They can be suffocatingly insular.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:37 AM on September 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

Oh, and the town's one sad nightclub, as depicted in the movie: VERY VERY TRUE.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:43 AM on September 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

Well, often there's be one place like that and one shithole dive that was a bit more alternative. Or it'd be the same place on alternating nights.
posted by Artw at 10:48 AM on September 13, 2014

Shoot, I just noticed I didn't link to the right Metafilter thread on the movie. Here it is.
posted by nubs at 12:26 PM on September 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

Just saw this on HBO for the third time the other day. It's definitely still the best movie I've seen in a long time, and easily the greatest of the Cornettos. I love it so much. The ending alone is so gorgeously perfectly optimistic it just makes me want to stand up and cheer every time. One of those rare movies which builds up to a brilliant final second where every single thing that's happened sings in unison.

For some reason as King and buds stood on a chair going Ooo are U then mate ooo put U in charge then? I thought of the Magna Carta. A bunch of surly punters basically tell the Monarch to shove it and create modern democracy. The origins of egalitarianism aren't noble--it's mostly cussedness. It made me want to walk up to a British person and shake their hand, "Thanks for chopping off a few royal heads dude!"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:44 PM on September 13, 2014 [4 favorites]

On the other hand, there's a reason most of those New Towns didn't turned out to be near-Utopian planned communities and instead became ghastly shitholes, and it wasn't really the architecture...
posted by Artw at 6:51 PM on September 13, 2014

I consider this movie my Big Chill. But instead of communal kitchen-washing grooving, wife-swapping, Reaganomics and Woodstock, we get chain restaurants, robot-replacement. and the apocalypse. It spoke to me and my aging self: I never lived fully reached that potential I was told I had, everything I loved from my youth has either been franchised or replaced by one, the world is falling towards apocalypse, and everyone around me has probably been replaced by robot clones.

It's like they know me.
posted by bibliowench at 9:56 PM on September 13, 2014 [12 favorites]

I do really love this film. I think the story doesn't really make sense, and the ending is shonky, but its just a wonderful tale about friendship and failure and expectations for life. I actually think the film is perfect until the blanks turn up, and is pretty great for the rest of it. Part of me would really like to see this film with no sci-fi elements at all, but then they'd have to come up with a reason for the rest to follow Gary to the final pub.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 4:29 AM on September 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

have to come up with a reason for the rest to follow Gary to the final pub.

posted by sammyo at 3:57 PM on September 14, 2014

I think this was the best of the three and gave me a lot to think about besides just the lulz. I LOVE how they worked out the details of each pub and the name and the plot. I really feel for Gary, who by rights is a loser in our world but really he just wants to be the hero in a sci-fi fantasy or something just greater than being a boring insurance salesman or whatever the hell the other guys do for a job. And he was suicidal in our boring-ass normal world. But in the post-robot apocalypse, he's having A Great Time. I feel for ya, Gary, I really do.

I also think that teenage Gary is hot.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:15 PM on September 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

This film has a great deal in common with Hot Tub Time Machine.

They're both comic sci-fi that focuses on the bad behavior of hard partiers and asks, what changed in their lives? What changed about them? And do they have any power to make these choices themselves? Is it valuable to repeat your own behavior? The two films have many of the same tropes and stock characters in common, and they even share the late reveal involving suicide. Both even have a peculiar ending with a tone noticeably different from the rest of the film showing that their miserable main character can really get his act together when given a clean slate.

I love both of these films. And I'm in recovery. So I can't help but to notice that both use their sci fi element to provide that clean slate. Gary actually takes off to walk the earth with blank versions of his childhood friends who won't possibly criticize his behavior or shame him. Lou chooses not to time travel back to the present with his friends, so they return to find that he's rearranged their lives into what they always wanted--so now they have no memory of the intervening years of their own (now very successful) lives and they're beholden to him; in a sense, he is also surrounded by blanks. I suppose accountability isn't very funny.
posted by heatvision at 3:46 AM on September 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

That's an interesting take. I was thinking it was very much like Shaun of the Dead whereby the zombies are switched out for robots. Along with the story changes that revolve around growing older.

I like to think of the movie as a literal interpretation of what's happening inside Gary's head. As the story progresses along, we are subjected to further and further distortions in reality as Gary increasingly engages in substance abuse.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:41 AM on September 22, 2014

I think the thing with TWE is realizing that it's a King Arthur story;

Looking at the IMDB page, the five friend's last names are King, Prince, Knightley, Chamberlain and Page.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:19 PM on October 2, 2014 [8 favorites]

I love the King Arthur explaination, but I always felt like the Sci-FI elements where tacked onto a comedy of suicidal mid life crisis.

It is a movie about suicidal mid-life crisis; what makes it interesting to me is that the sci-fi elements allow it to go where a normal movie about the same topics wouldn't - Gary is proven right (or at least not wrong) in his rejection of "adult" life. Everyone kind of ends up in a state of being "not wrong" with an opportunity to choose again and find a happier state.
posted by nubs at 3:19 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]

Been doing some musing about all three films this week, and I need to watch them all again, but here’s a thought: Gary King is an amalgam of Pegg’s characters in the first two films: the immaturity of Shaun combined with the persistence and stubbornness of Nicolas.
posted by nubs at 9:01 AM on March 12, 2018 [1 favorite]

« Older Movie: A Single Man...   |  Real Humans: "Blind Love"... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments