When Gary King (Simon Pegg) and his four best friends, Andy, (Nick Frost), Oliver “O-Man” (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Peter (Eddie Marsan) finished high school in 1990, they attempted to complete the “golden mile”, or drinking a pint at each of the twelve pubs in their town. They made it through nine before giving up, but Gary never stopped considering it the best night of his life.
Fast forward twenty three years, and Gary hasn’t changed. The problem is, his friends have. All in corporate jobs, most with a wife and kids, Gary decides something needs to happen. Rounding them up, one by one, Gary tells them they’re going back to Newton Haven and finally making it to “The World’s End”, the final pub in the golden mile.
Aside from some initial hesitance from the other guys, Gary’s plan begins smoothly. And then Gary starts a fight in the toilets, and discovers that the townspeople aren’t who they seem. In fact, they’re robot copies filled with blue ink. Suddenly, the quest to reach The World’s End turns into a race to survive the end of the world.
The movie is, in a word, hilarious. I had high expectations going in, and they were definitely met. However, the movie also had powerful life commentary underneath the humour. It also made me cry.
At one point in the film, Gary refused to show a scar on his elbow, despite the fact the others all showed their various scars from over the years to prove that they weren’t “blanks”. My mind immediately went to track marks (as his drug usage is consistently referenced throughout the movie), but it’s not until later in the film that we discover he was keeping his arms covered to hide the bandages marking a suicide attempt from his friends. He screams at Andy, his best friend forever, that the reason he’s obsessed with completing the golden mile is because it’s all he has.
I won’t spoil the ending of the film for you, but it’s bittersweet, just like the film itself. I expected easy laughs, and I got them, but what made the film so great was that it layered the crude jokes with something deeper, to make something truly brilliant.
The World’s End is out now in cinemas across Australia.
frangipani princess xoxo