Double you tee eff – The World’s End

The World's End - Official Poster - from IMDB.com

The World’s End – Official Poster – from IMDB.com

The World’s End (2013)

Director: Edgar Wright
Writers: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg
Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman

The third and final instalment of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s Cornetto trilogy (Shaun of The Dead, Hot Fuzz and The World’s End). Anticipation for this film had stirred in me when I first heard of its pending creation. I am a big fan of Edgar Wright’s work – both stylistically as a director, and also as a storyteller/writer.

If you haven’t seen either Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead I would recommend you do so before you see The World’s End. The main reason for this is so you understand the format of the Cornetto films. Wright and Pegg have a way of making their movies start like your typical comedy and then turn into something completely different. The World’s End starts out with old friends being lured back to their home town to do an epic pub crawl they failed to finish 20 years earlier. But the town has changed. And not in the normal, time has passed, people have moved on, kinds of ways either. Something weird is going on and the pub crawl becomes more than just getting to the end of the crawl, it becomes about getting to The World’s End.

Wright and Pegg have crafted a clever script and stylistically it is very much like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. The quick cuts of mundane tasks, e.g. pouring beer, and the pop culture references are in plentiful supply. As is the witty and clever humour. There is a lot of playing with words and phrases in the first half of the film, which sets up the unfolding narrative that comes later in the film. However the character development is underdone and feels like it has been pushed to the side in favour of the jokes and action of the film. Especially with regards to Simon Pegg’s character there is a real lack of relatable qualities which make him a less than ideal protagonist. By the end of the film I kind of just wanted him to fail at whatever it was he was trying to achieve. I just didn’t care about him. I cared about the other characters more than the lead which is not an unusual feeling, but it was surprising.

The World’s End is a Sci-Fi-Comedy and does a good job of pulling apart the Sci-Fi genre in comedic ways. It is cleverly constructed and the ending is one that will have you in stitches. The World’s End is a nice finish to a classy trio of clever comedies.

3.5/5

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Here take my hat – Jack Reacher

Jack Reacher - Official Poster - from IMDB.com

Jack Reacher – Official Poster – from IMDB.com

Jack Reacher (2012)

Director: Christopher McQuarrie
Writers: Christopher McQuarrie (screenplay), Lee Child (book)
Stars: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike and Richard Jenkins

Tom Cruise may be a little crazy in the real world but on screen he does shine. However, he does have a habit of picking strange scripts to work from *cough cough Rock of Ages cough cough*. Jack Reacher is basically a visual narrative when it comes down to it. There is some basic delivery of lines to set up the important information that every story needs, but the narrative is told through the lens, not through speech. It isn’t a fast paced action thriller as you would expect after Cruises’ Mission Impossibles. The use of close ups and geographic settings plays a large part in the story-telling. It is like the director wants to make sure we catch every little thing that will be important. It’s almost like Christopher McQuarrie watched Sherlock (BBC) and tried to do what Moffatt and Gatiss did but took out the cleverness of the mystery. The problem with Jack Reacher is that you basically know what will happen if you’ve watched the trailer. There aren’t many surprises or unseen twists and although there are some one liners that rival the cheesiness of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s, it falls short of being a good action thriller, let alone a great one. There are questions I had during the film that were still unanswered at the end of the film which drove me a little crazy but five minutes after leaving the theatre I had forgotten why I had thought it was so important. The more I think about the film the less I like it. I enjoyed the experience in the cinema but it just a fun film to fill the time and nothing more.

2/5