The World’s End is a cross between your run-of-the-mill independent flick and summer blockbuster apocalyptic movie. Five friends return to their hometown to find out that most of its residents have been replaced by robots. The movie in my opinion is not worth the $10 asking price tag. And honestly, I don’t think it’s that great of a movie. I literally walked out of the theater saying, “What the hell was that?”
This movie though, is the perfect “bro-mate” movie. It’s one of those movies guys can enjoy at a bbq, share a cold one, while shouting at each other over whose fantasy football player kicked some ass.
The World’s End is the last movie to the Three Flovours Cornetto Trilogy, where Sean of the Dead was the first installment; Hott Fuzz, the second. Each installment, even though they star the same characters, does not have anything to do with each other. They are three different movies, same characters, in three entirely different storylines. The only other true connection to each other has to do for the fact that “Cornetto Ice Cream” had inspired them and was featured in each storyline:
- Strawberry Cornetto Ice Cream represented the blood gore in the Zombie movie, Sean of the Dead.
- The original blue Cornetto Ice Cream represented the cops in Hot Fuzz
- The green mint Cornetto Ice Cream represented alien life forms in The World’s End.
Now here come the spoilers. Don’t read past this paragraph unless you want to know what happens in the movie. I will try to keep my spoilers to a minimum.
In the World’s End, a loser reunites with his four friends to retrace their idiotic adolescent journey of hitting twelve bars in one night. We’ll call the loser, Scotty, as it’s the same actor who played Scotty in Star Trek!
From the first bar that they hit, there is already a mounting tension between the five friends. The four mature men do not know why they are tagging along with Scotty, who is an obvious alcoholic. Still, reluctantly they follow Scotty from bar to bar. Eventually the growing conflict between Scotty and his mature friends come to an ugly fork road. His friends want to go home, he wants to continue. It’s at that time they find out that they are being watched and hunted by advanced robots that have taken over their hometown. Now in order to survive, the five friends must stick together.
The movie then turns into a series of rather entertaining and comedic chase scenes, with a lot of “what to do now?” conflicts. The movie is actually great until this point.
Then, things start getting strange, real strange.
“When I watch movies, I wanna check my brain out, and I wanna be entertained, not taught; especially when it comes to slapstick comedies. I’m not going to watch European Vacation to learn the meaning of life.”
At the end of the movie (big spoiler) the friends are cornered and the super-being confronts Scotty and explains his motivations. To sum it up, the super-being wants Earth to be a better place, but it has lagged behind other universes tremendously because we are just plain losers. Even with the advances of technology that this super being has bequeathed unto us: the cell phone, computer, television, yada yada yada; humans are still a bunch of screwed ups. Enter exhibit A, Scotty. Frustrated with the massive volume of idiots on earth, and failed attempts to teach humans how to be better, the super-being decides to replace the flawed humans with carbon copy robots that are more peaceful. But the problem is that he’s replaced almost the entire town with robots.
Scotty starts to debate with the super-being on freedom versus slavery (capitalism). At one point the debate between the well intentioned mature super-being and the idiotic immature Scotty turns very juvenile. The super-being then casually gives up, because he just doesn’t want to reason with idiots anymore and leaves earth. Scotty was the last straw.
When he leaves, he destroys all of the technology that he had given to us, and all humans are forced to live back in the caveman days. That’s how the movie ends…
The ending of the movie felt very forced. It really felt as though the director wanted to pour in his two cents about capitalism. That you’re either going to be a slave to capitalism and be nothing more than a robot, or you are going to live like an unhappy caveman, without luxury, junk food, and technology. In the end, the director pretty much implies that society is better off being slaves to capitalism, because the caveman alternative is actually much worse.
The World’s End could have ended in a much better way. A nice simple shootout would have been nice. If Scotty’s character evolved and he found an ingenious way to defeat the robots, that would have been great. But no….he defeated the super-being, by well….just by being an idiot.
When I watch movies, I wanna check my brain out, and I wanna be entertained, not taught; especially when it comes to slapstick comedies. I’m not going to watch European Vacation to learn the meaning of life. While it’s way too common for directors to push their political agenda in movies, when they go overboard, they can turn a great movie into a 90-minute piece of crap; and that’s exactly what happened here. Not only was it a piece of crap theory, that slavery is capitalism, but that it’s entirely wrong theory altogether. Isn’t capitalism about the freedom to create and purchase what you want, at a price that is dictated by market forces? Ugh….