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Film review: The World's End - what the critics made of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright's latest offering

Sci-fi comedy follows up Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz
  • @James_Legge

Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg have returned to finish what they started with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, rounding off the so-called "Cornetto trilogy" with new release The World's End.

The film brings together an impressive and familiar cast of Pegg and his old friend Nick Frost, along with Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, and Eddie Marsan.

They play out the story of five childhood mates, reunited in middle age to complete a 12-bar pub crawl in their provincial home town. As is traditional in Wright/Pegg collaborations, things get wacky and violent, in what the Hollywood Reporter calls a "clever and hilarious sci-fi send-up," despite its "somewhat stretched 109-minute running time."

The Telegraph liked the release, which it found "by turns trashy, poignant and gut-bustingly funny, and often all three at once."

Meanwhile The Guardian gave four stars to the "satirical sci-fi comedy that chips away at modern Britain and raises a pint to an old English brand of messy eccentricity." Noting the aptness of the Cornetto tag - applied by the trilogy's makers because the popular pyramidical treat appears in all three films - its critic says the pair have "slowed down a bit, grown up a lot. And saved the richest bite until last."

But Digital Spy decries that "the characters are cardboard and the twisted dynamics between them don't came into play until the end is very nigh. A midlife crisis thread ties it all together, very loosely."

Time Out, for its part, give the film credit for combining "the best aspects of the first two movies – the goofy humour, the knockabout violence, the witty observations on English life – and adds a hefty dollop of sci-fi action and an unexpectedly charming, thoughtful air of bittersweet nostalgia."

The World's End opens in cinemas on July 19. See the trailer here: