‘The World’s End’ | To Err Is Human, So Err (Retro Review)

Written By: Traves Bezenar

Simon Pegg and Nick Frost joined forces once again back in 2013 for another buddy comedy. The duo is probably best known for their cult hits ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and ‘Hot Fuzz’ which are both brilliant satirical comedies in their own right. Both men have moved on from those humble beginnings to great things. Pegg for instance is reprising his role as the new Scotty in ‘Star-Trek: Beyond’ later this summer, and Frost has dozens of acting and directing credits to his name. If I was forced to compare the duo to someone from this side of the pond I’d say they’re like a better, more talented, and funnier version of Adam Sandler and his band of merry idiots. But enough about Pegg and Frost, let's talk about ‘The Word’s End’.

As far as cast goes, ‘The World’s End’ has a stellar one. Of course the aforementioned Simon Pegg and Nick Frost play the leads but they’re joined by plethora of talented British actors including; Martin Freeman (Sherlock & The Hobbit), Paddy Considine (The Bourne Ultimatum), Eddie Maran (V for Vendetta & Sherlock Holmes), and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl & Jack Reacher) who play Simon and Frost’s band of friends. If a star studded line up like that isn’t enough for you, former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan and Walder Frey himself, David Bradley are also feature prominently in the film. Everyone from the main cast to the the background characters gave convincing and heartfelt performances that will have you either bent over laughing or wiping away tears.

A big downside to this film is the visual effects, they’re simply not that good. They’re by no means atrocious, and shouldn’t ruin the film for anyone, but they are noticeable. I’d rank them somewhere above your typical episode of ‘Doctor Who’ but below ‘Game of Thrones’ in terms of CGI quality. The practical effects are much better though, and the fight scenes are both excellently choreographed and hilariously outlandish.

The other glaring issue this movie has (or had rather) is that it was released so close to the US film ‘This Is The End’ which is similar and name and theme but varies tremendously in the plot, humor, and acting departments. Even though ‘The Word’s End’ made far less money than ‘This Is The End’, it did fair better with critics and fans alike, and is the far better of the two in my personal opinion. This is one of those rare  cases where a movie really can’t be judged by how it did in the box office. Timing was everything in this case and unfortunately timing was on the side of “This is the End’ in this particular case.

I used the quote 'To err is human' in the title not just because it's taken directly from the movie (and I'm clever like that) but because it's also the main theme of the movie. The full quote from Alexander Pope's 'Essay on Criticism' is "to err is human; to forgive is divine" and when all is said and done 'The World's End' isn't just a story about getting drunk with your friends as the word is ending, but a tale of forgiving those you love even if the don't really deserve it. The plot, like the theme of the film is also really good. I'll avoid spoiling it for those of you that might not have seen it yet but if you’re a fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost films you’ll know to pay attention to the opening 15 minutes or so as they lay the plot out pretty cut and dry. Again, like other Pegg/Frost team ups, ‘The World’s End’ explores common and overused movie tropes in an interesting and fun way. In a sense it’s the quintessential buddy comedy and end of the world movie but also somehow entirely unique and genuine.

If you're sitting at home with your friends or roommates this weekend, and MNDT Live has already aired, I highly recommend watching ‘The World’s End’. It’s available on DVD or Blu-Ray and streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and Shomi (if you’re in Canada). I promise is you that it will be worth your time or at the very least have you chuckling by the world’s end…


Grade 4/5