Top 10 films of 2013: The World's End

Feature Duncan Bowles 26 Dec 2013 - 23:27

At second place in our rundown of our favourite films of 2013? That'd be The World's End...

Over the past few weeks, Den of Geek writers have been voting for their favourite films of the year. The votes were weighted, calculated, and compiled into a list of our favourites of 2013's films. Here, at number 2, is The World's End...

2. The World's End

This feature contains spoilers.

There are very few filmmakers that carry the accolade of having made a great cinematic trilogy. More often than not, one film at least will prove to be a weak link, or as is so often the case in the last decade, a director or star (or both in the case of Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull) will return to a once beloved franchise only to ruin the mythology. Yet as fate would have it, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost can now lay claim to that holy grail, which also happens to be held by the man who so heavily influenced their early work – Mr Sam Raimi and his Evil Dead movies.

Certainly there are those who triumph some films in The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, but find others lacking, but in this article you won’t find a bad word against any of them. The main reason for this is due to the consistency with which Shaun Of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End have uniformly managed to make for exciting, hysterical and, at times, existentially upsetting movies. The trilogy, like Spaced before them, speak directly to those of us who have coveted genre movies as our own private refuges and championed those parts of popular culture that most people have never, and most likely will never, understand.

While on a simple level Shaun Of The Dead made for universal viewing as zombie movie and love letter to horror directors such as George A Romero and Hot Fuzz took inspiration from action movies, including the kingly Point Break, which helped to tie in a wider audience, The World’s End is much harder to categorise. But that merely helps to strengthen its unique character. End feels like a much braver movie, as if the success of the previous two outings allowed Wright and Pegg to go all out on making a more intimate film, that just so happens to be surrounded by science fiction, rather than being a slave to any rules, as is often the case in an homage.

The World's End also manages to be a much more affecting film than both Dead and Fuzz, which is why so many people have had such an emotional response to it, And that’s down to the perfectly observed way that friendship is depicted. While the pub culture aspect may have ostracised some viewers with its sheer Britishness, at its heart The World’s End reflects on how much of an impact addiction and emotional trauma can affect those closest to us, as well as ourselves if we’re the ones at the centre of the destruction. Pegg’s Gary King really is a tragic-comic work of genius, managing to elicit laughs through gritted teeth, while just retaining enough likeability to carry the film as a focal point.

Of course this being the work of Wright and Pegg, you’re free to take as much or as little from the film as you’d like and the more times you watch it, the more you’ll notice. While the latent emotional core struck a cord with many, there’s also the ever present comedy which runs the gamut from literal toilet sight gags, to recurring plays on dialogue such as the 'WTF' moments (again which serve as more than they first seem) to the sheer joy of watching five friends acting like drunken idiots.

The World’s End is also a first class action flick (which is why it placed so highly in our list here) as the fight choreography is just remarkable. I’ll try and refrain from giving too much away, but the incredible blend of physical action mixed with visual effects make for some unforgettable punch ups. And even when you’ve adjusted to the initial shock of what’s happening on screen, the impact never lessons even in later events. Again it’s down to the care and effort taken to ensure that nothing happens without a reason, and the film also certainly never passes on the chance to find comedy in splatter – think along the lines of the “There’s a girl in the garden” moment in Shaun Of The Dead and then amplify it.

Along for the ride in The World’s End cast are plenty of familiar faces (and voices) from other parts of the trilogy, which have always made for a fun game of ‘point and shout’ when you recognise someone, and again enforces the sense of insider rewards that Wright and Pegg have always championed for their loyal supporters over the years. It makes a viewing of one of their films feel that little bit more special.

The principal cast here are also outstanding, with the spark between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as strong as ever, Martin Freeman and Eddie Marsan (who seem to be in every other feature here at Den Of Geek at the moment) are on great form and the always excellent and arguably chronically underappreciated Paddy Considine and Rosamund Pike get some of the films’ sweeter moments to shine.

For this writer it was the years’ best film and even for those who didn’t engage with it as personally as others, or who found the end difficult to digest, it’s hard to argue that the filmmaking combination of Messrs Wright, Pegg and Frost hasn’t resulted in some truly heartfelt and unique output. The World’s End marks the end of the Cornetto Trilogy nine years after Shaun Of The Dead first belted zombie brains across cinema screens and it’s just fantastic to see things go out with such a bang (in every sense of the word).

The only downside is that it’s all come to an end. But what an end.

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If ever a film benefited from a second viewing, it's this one. So for those who have only seen it once, I urge you to try again.

I loved this film on first viewing but I can see why much of it would be lost on anyone that isn't a 40 something Brit. There's a lot here that appeals to a very specific generation.

Absolutely loved this film, as good as SOTD and HF as far as I'm concerned. Whilst most people share my opinion I've seen plenty of people who just didn't enjoy it as much as they expected to. I think with any film that's hyped like TWE was there are bound to be people disappointed, and that's the way it goes. I won't argue with anyone who didn't enjoy it, after all it's all subjective, but I will argue with someone who doesn't think Wright and Pegg poured just as much effort and passion into this film as they did their others.
A brilliant trilogy and, as a writer, I hope to create a similar effect on people as these films did.

I happily think "What The F**k does WTF mean!"'ll B 1 of my quotes of the year!

Chords are struck, nor cords - unless you are engaging in violence against trousers.

I loved this film, no idea where some people are getting the idea that it's the worst of the bunch. And while the comedy was maybe a little more subdued this time round, the emotional core was very moving, and I think everyone could relate to the theme of wanting to cling on and perhaps reclaim past glories of youth.

Also, I think Wright and Pegg may have written the most intelligent sci-fi film of the year by a large stretch, case in point drunken philosophical discourse between Pegg, Frost and the alien "leader". That part I enjoyed tremendously, and left me debating in my head for a long while afterwards.

I would place this as one of the biggest disappointments of the year. Pegg was a little too good at being a prize dickhead and much of the first half of the film featured the rest of the principal cast finding him unbearable. Which wouldn't have been so bad, but the lines were so interchangeable, they could have been spoken by any of them. With the exception of Rosamund Pike I suppose, but she always looks like she's just had a surprise cold finger up her bum.

Then there was the lack of genuine threat. The invaders were a largely inconsistent bunch, rock hard to keep down one minute and easy to smash or run past the next. While the fights were well choreographed, would it not have been more fitting if the drunks only 'thought' they were fighting so well? Even Olympians would struggle with that much running after 12 pints too.

Maybe at half the length this would have been twice the movie. A tonal shift I can deal with, but this one was never a comedy, sci fi or horror all at the same time. A take off of Quatermass or Bodysnatchers perhaps might have been more consistent. Some people even walked out during the epilogue. Which was a bit daft as they'd tolerated it that far. And yet, while most I've spoken with agree it's the weakest of the three, one friend believes it to be the strongest. Probably because the Legoland line was one of the funniest lines of the year. I'll give them that. Considering how many three star films there were this year, I'm surprised DoG didn't think this was one of them.

I agree about this being one of the best films of the year. At first I found the ending a letdown but watching it a second time its actually brilliant.

Absolutely loved this on first viewing. Very fitting end to an utterly marvellous trilogy. Can't wait to get the Blu-ray and see it again.

Personally I loved this film; clever, witty and with great action sequences (as the reviewer points out). Nick Frost as a quasi-ninja action hero was something I never expected to see but was a great - and surprisingly convincing - part of this film. Plus there is a dark undertone to the whole thing that showed a maturity that "Hot Fuzz" (and even "Shaun of the Dead") lacked. Indeed, I would rate this film *far* more highly than "Hot Fuzz".

And I think it is a measure of its success that the moment it ended I wanted to watch it again, so yeah - for anyone who perhaps didn't like it the first time, I would join the chorus of voices urging you to watch it again.

All of the main characters in TWE were just up tight cliches, apart from Pegg who was a party animal cliche. A disappointment.

I saw it for the first time last night, and I found it pleasant but lacking in any real laughs. Hot Fuzz took me a few years to really warm to, and this one I think may take even longer. Shaun remains the best, by some way. World's End wasn't a bad film for me, I like the themes of nostalgia and clinging onto youth, but it's crying out for a lot more humour. Disappointing.

I took to Fuzz pretty quickly, it was very clearly influenced by a couple of Michael Bay films (and the aforementioned Point Break) just as Shaun' largely drew from Night of the Living Dead. World's End just isn't as focused, and the Mad Max ending was just as ill fitting. There's a few posts on here saying to watch it again for reappraisal but I wonder if they'll feel that way in years to come. I agree about the themes, these are easy to identify with past a certain age. I'm really not sure who they thought the target audience was though. And I also agree, it was sorely lacking laughs, especially in the first half, which was ball achingly slow.

It remains a disappointment, if only because it should have been a safe bet for them smashing it out the park, not polarizing viewers.

This film was a pretty shallow disappointment, and felt exactly like the post-Shaun copyists that have been in abundance (doghouse, grabbers, Lesvian Vamp Killers blah bllah). All the actual plots INCLUDING the drug problems were like farts in the wind to be communicated in a few sentences. Oh, it's robots, how perfunctory. I laughed a fair amount, sure, there's SOME comedy gold to be found in the bare skeleton of a plot and uninteresting protagonists. NONE of the emotional charm was there such as between Shaun and his Girlf, or Shaun and his parents... i really don't know what film this reviewer saw but best film of the year? Actually mental.

I agree. I thought Hot Fuzz was more intriguing. I enjoyed bits of the movie as Nick Frost is a likeable second banana but the end put me to ZZZZZZZ.

I think this is my favourite of the three films, personally. It also makes me excited about what Edgar Wright can do with Ant-Man.
Also, Simon Pegg just tweeted a link to this article.

This film was a huge disappointment. I love Shaun and thought Hot Fuzz was good but not great but this was just bad. Considine and Pike were ace but as to the rest. Frost and Pegg were terrible and Freeman might as well phoned it in. Unfunny, dull and a sad end to the cornetto trilogy.
I hope Ant Man is more Scott Pilgrim and less this, because Pilgrim was ace.

Not 40 something, or a Brit. I think the real problem is people are pretentious and can't admit that they just don't get it therefor they degrade it. I'm a 27 year old american and I believe that Wright, Pegg, and Frost should be crowned the kings of modern comedy. People just don't want to admit that the only thing they understand is everything made by the Wayons.. It's funny how they got raving reviews from the biggest names in the film industry for all three films but all these couch critics think they know so much better.

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