The World’s End is the third installment in the Cornetto Trilogy by writing duo Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. Building upon the same formula of their previous successes (Shaun of the Dead & Hot Fuzz) The World’s End adequately delivers laughs and embraces Wright and Pegg’s writing talents.
Instead of fighting zombies (Shaun of the Dead, 2004) or being a by-the-book cop (Hot Fuzz, 2007) Simon Pegg plays Gary King. Gary is a low life who peaked in high school who is hoping to re-ignite the good times he remembers having. At the start of the film, Gary tries to gather up his old high school buddies to revive an old tradition they did called “The Golden Mile.”
“The Golden Mile” involved going around and drinking a pint of beer at each of 12 pubs in the characters hometown of Newton Haven. Shortly after starting the quest, Gary gets into a fight with an odd acting teenager in a bar bathroom. Gary knocks the teen against the wall causing his head to fall off and exposing him as a robot. The chaos starts to ensue shortly afterwards when Gary and his friends notice that the whole town of Newton Haven is infested with human-looking robots filled with blue ink.
Characterization is great in the film. Simon Pegg successfully play a drunk and druggie who is looking to have a good time with friends. Nick Frost (Pegg’s partner in crime in Shaun of the Dead) pulls off a solid performance as the reserved one of the group. Martin Freeman from the movie The Hobbit is also in the film.
The film project formed from an early screenplay that director/co-writer Edgar Wright wrote when he was 21. The original story involved a group of teenagers visiting several pubs. Wright reworked the script with Pegg to have a story that embodied the “bittersweet feeling of returning to your hometown and feeling like a stranger.”
Enjoyment will come from watching the film if the viewer liked the first two films in the Cornetto Trilogy. Crazy antics and surprisingly cool action scenes help keep the viewer watching. A sign of relieve can be given for the fact that the film does not employee the standard apocalypse movie format of people just running around and screaming.
Whether you have a love of sci-fi, action, or comedy, The World’s End employees all three while still giving new things to laugh at. The World’s End is a slapstick comedy that gives more to love from the creative minds of Pegg and Wright.
It’s easy to dismiss That Awkward Moment as another cliche, feel-goodie rom-com. It has the standard set of characters and scenarios to make it like others: main character is down on their luck, a talkative friend stands nearby and eventually the main character falls for another newly introduced character that is beautiful (but not conventionally so).
Suprisingly That Awkward Moment provides a fresh take on the romantic comedy film genre that many thought was dying. The dialogue holds viewer interest with its witty fiascos and funny liners. The film has a lot of “bromantic” nature to it yet it remains something that any viewer (male or female) could laugh at and relate to.
The film starts with Jason (Zac Efron) as he goes through a “break-up” with a girl he has been seeing for the past six weeks. She wants to break up yet he didn’t even know they were dating. He has a hard time deciding if he is “officially dating” any of the girls he sees. It doesn’t help that he has a talkative womanizer friend named Daniel (Miles Teller) who flows through girls with the help of a female friend luring them in to talk.
Things change when Jason and Daniel learn that Mikey’s wife has cheated on him. Jason and Daniel make a pack with him: stay single with him. Things prove tricky when Jason and Daniel both end up falling in love and have to start hiding it.
The film is hilarious and not like other generic love dove rom-coms. The dialogue points out common cliches of the bar dating scene. The film never seems to go stale as it tells the tale of a group of people trying to understand how to have a stable relationship with another person.B+
With the downward trend of romantic comedies and their less than stellar box office results, Director Tom Gormican took a good move in making the film (with a cast of well-known stars hot off successes) for only $8 million.
A warm and feel-good movie is what most people want when they hit the movie theater on Christmas day. That is what they will get. Ben Stiller’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty lets the viewer relish in daydreams and sees how a man changes because of them. The film is a loose take on the 1939 short story of the same name by James Thurber.
Stiller, along with directing the movie, takes on the main role of Walter Mitty. Walter is a quiet and closed-off person working at Life magazine as a Negative Asset Manager. His life is pretty bland. He is an expert at balancing his checkbook but cannot muster up the courage to “wink” his crush and fellow co-worker Cheryl (Kristen Wiig) on eHarmony. He has a bad habit of zoning out at times. He drifts off into vivid daydreams filled with things he wish he could say and places he wish he could visit. His daydream self has a strong confidence that his real-life bland office worker self does not.
There is a disruption in Walter’s life. Life magazine is scheduling its last print edition and going to online. Walter is tasked with the important role of providing the negative #25 photo by famed photographer Sean O’Connell, to be used as the cover for the final print issue. The negative #25 cannot be found however. It seems to be lost. Walter does not have it in his hands.
Teetering on the edge of getting laid off, Walter travels to Greenland and Iceland to track down Sean O’Connell. He needs the photo. The expedition yields more than just work duties. Walter is diving into the unknown. He is being adventurous for the first time in his life. The empty travel journal that his father gave to him before passing away when Walter was 17 is finally getting used.
The film wavers a bit with its daydream to reality sequences. Many critics have pointed out to the fact that the film loses steam. It’s pointed out that logic and imagination is not properly balanced. This is a good observation but slightly missing the point. Stiller does make a distinction between reality and fantasy. He does weird things (like throwing away the Sean O’Connell gifted wallet) because he is functioning on auto mode. His life is just going with the flow and not really observing what exactly is going on in front of him.
Although The Secret Life of Walter Mitty has been getting mixed reviews it is a solid film to see. There is no other movie that will give you a warm mushy feeling inside than this (maybe Christian Bale’s comb over in American Hustle will hold you over). The film provides great visuals and a predictable but good ending.
One thing stuck in my head after viewing the film: You cannot decide what to do with your life by sitting and thinking hard, it happens through taking action. This is exactly what Walter Mitty does in the film. B-