Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer world-ending comedies are "meh"!

 This Is The End

This Is The End offered the star studded comedy cast of Seth Pineapple Express Rogan, James  Spider-Man Franco, Jonah Superbad Hill, Jay Tropic Thunder Baruchel, Danny Land of the Lost McBride and Craig The Office Robinson playing "exaggerated" versions of themselves holed up in a 'superior' area of the Hollywood hills as the rapture takes all the worthy people off the planet leaving that lot to fight it out for the last bottle of sparking water before the devil and his giant penis destroy them.

I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting too much from this movie. They're not a group of comedians that I'd be too enthusiastic about seeing on screen at the best of times but I reckoned having that many on screen at once might have diluted their individual issues to a manageable level. To some extent I was right, they seemed to work together for the most part but the movie was too underdeveloped in the story department to make the most of what they all could have accomplished together.

The movie was to claustrophobic to be a comedy and being in the one set for almost it's entire runtime took it's toll on the story, it's not a family sitcom after all. I felt that if they had made more use of their impressive list of cameos like Micheal Cera, Paul Rudd, Rihanna and Channing Tatum at least as much as they did with Emma Watson it might have been something more.

Overall there's a few good laughs but as a whole, it's far from great.

Colonel Creedon Rating: ***

The World's End

Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright graduated from producing an excellent comedy series in Spaced to vow to make a comedy trilogy like the world had never seen, dubbed "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy". The first two parts of this met their mark - Shaun of the Dead [2004] and Hot Fuzz [2007] are undoubtedly two of the best comedy movies of the 21st century and everyone presumed that The World's End would be the crowning achievement in this fantastic series.

What the hell happened? The World's End is a hideously misjudged and mangled effort as a film that feels like it was made by amateurs and not the greatest British creative comedy team since the Pythons. The first 45 mins has very little by way of laughs, the ending is dragged out to an overlong anticlimax and only it's hilarious fight scenes that save it from being relegated to one-star land.

The cast supporting Pegg and Frost were at least competent.  Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman returned from previous series films as a quintet of old school chums [Eddie Marsan from Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes makes up the fifth] who meet up and go on a 12-pub bender that they last attempted when they were 18, but failed. This time a race of aliens seem determined to spoil their night.

One of the main issues here is that unlike Tim Bisley [Spaced], Shaun Riley [Shaun of the Dead] or Nick Angel [Hot Fuzz], the audience can't hope to identify with Pegg's character Gary King. His previous series characters have had so many good qualities and were on a base level "everyman", but Gary is a dark and troubled waster who is pretty much one of the biggest pricks you could hope to meet. There seems to be a concentrated effort to make you feel sorry for him but I didn't because by the time I could have... it was just too late.

The spark of originally and quintessential humour that Spaced, Shaun and Fuzz had was non-existent here, The World's End is but a shadow of comedy greatness that will be pretty much forgotten. Be thankful you have Spaced, Shaun and Fuzz because after this utterly disappointing piece of lazy film making, that's all you have now.

Colonel Creedon Rating: **


Former Grunt said...

It feels like Wright and Pegg are getting too big for their boots now so their "roots" have suffered.

Frost on the other hand is still down to earth and was the only good thing here. Bar-stool boxing gloves? Classic!

vaughan said...

If the words "contractually obligated" on screen throughout the entire film , it would not have felt out of place.