Endings and conclusion were never my strong suit, even now where I have to end this series proper. They come and they wrap everything into a neat little package in order to leave a permanent mark that this is done with, you can always go back to it and it has to make an everlasting impact. In approaching the end, I knew one film I had looked forward to this year was also a film I knew ended something that made me love genre films. Readers, we are about to embark in an adventure to the Film A Week’s end with…The World’s End.
2013’s The World’s End closes off the beloved trilogy known as The Cornetto Trilogy, due to the appearance of the UK ice cream treat appearing in all three films in some form or another. Director Edgar Wright, a veteran on the Film A Week series with Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, teamed back up with his old friends Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in order to close off the comedy trilogy that already conquered the horror genre with 2004’s Shaun of the Dead and the high-octane action genre 2007’s Hot Fuzz. The trio always goes in satirizing, spoofing and playing straight the cliches of the genre with references and creativity in order to tell its story.
With The World’s End, they tackle the only genre left to spoof or take a stab at with science fiction which had been promised. Edgar Wright had been given the idea when writing a script about teenagers at a pub crawl at age 21 aptly titled Crawl (not the most creative name, but I digress). The basic concept for this film was already in mind with the story first, genre later mentality Wright has with a majority of his film. Getting the band back together for one final film in the trilogy seemed ideal, but took a good five years to get started with production to have it released by this year. The time taken was well worth the effort as The World’s End is a fantastic closure to the trilogy.
The story begins with Gary King, played by Simon Pegg, a middle aged recovering drug addict hell-bent on reuniting with his old chums from Newtown in order to complete the “Golden Mile,” a famous mile of 12 pubs, 12 pints in hopes to reach the final bar, The World’s End. Gary sets out on his booze-filled quest for glory in search of his awkward pal Peter, played by Eddie Marsen, his former “band” mate Steve, played by Paddy Considine, the career focused and driven Oliver aka “O-Man,” played by Martin Freeman, and his best friend of the group Andy, played by Nick Frost. They all reluctantly go to attempt the famous drunken night and everything is going well and good until Oliver calls upon his sister Sam, played by Rosamund Pike, to come visit. Gary, obviously trying to recreate every moment with his selective memory, attempts to have sex with her in a handicapped stall in the restroom.
As the crawl moves on, they begin to notice similar personalities, personas and nothing truly changing. When they head to The Crossed Hands, shit truly hits the fan as they find out the town is crawling with assimilated robots that may not be robots, but might actually be aliens. Referred to as Blanks, the guys continue their quest to reach The World’s End by fighting swarms of Blanks, pretending to blend in, getting assimilated while having to come to terms with their own personal drama and changes from the past. Every pub in the film leads to moments of foreshadowing significant moments in their quests. For those curious to check the film out for themselves and what each pub means, avoid the next part because it is time to bring back for one last round…But For Those Not In The Know.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
BUT FOR THOSE NOT IN THE KNOW!
The First Post– Simply the first pub visited for the first pint where Andy does not participate as he has been quite sober.
The Old Familiar– Looks exactly the same as the first pub, but Sam returns to the scene. Steve had a thing for her way back when, but Gary was being a cock block which leads to…
The Famous Cock– Here Gary is recognized for his idiocy after being barred for life from the place, causing the men to simply question there choices about coming, yet continue on.
The Cross Hands– A bit of Peter’s backstory is revealed after running into his old bully from the past, but in the bathroom, Gary encounters the Blanks for the first time as the rest of the gang team up to battle the Blanks.
The Good Companions– Peter, Steve, Oliver and Andy are in misery as Gary has a ball in the midst of the town’s body-snatched identities while trying to blend in.
The Trusty Servant– They encounter an old weed dealer who is now under the trust of the Blanks, until Gary makes him reveal his secret. Also, Oliver is assimilated by the Blanks at this part, becoming the new servant and blends in with Gary’s crew.
The Two Headed Dog– They find Sam out with her twin friends, who turn out to be Blanks with Gary and his team taking them head on, pun intended, to defeat them and continue. Sam joins the group at this point.
The Mermaid– Andy, Gary and Peter are seduced by the Maramalade Sandwich, a group of admittedly hot individuals in order to become blanks via DNA as Steve discovers after conversation with crazy old Basil, played by David Bradley.
The Beehive Free House– The team find out that Oliver is officially part of the Blanks along with Mr. Shepard, their old teacher played by Brosnan, Pierce Brosnan, and find out about the hive mind they are working under.
The King’s Head– Gary loses his mind and his head after dealing with Peter getting assimilated in the park and everyone freaking out if he is the real Gary. Steve also decides to find The Beast, Gary’s automobile, in order to escape. Gary drinks to forget as it is all he has. Andy is disappointed by this fact, knowing Gary has not changed.
The Hole in the Wall– Steve comes crashing in to save Gary and Andy through, you guessed it, a hole in the wall, until he is taken away by Blanks. Gary and Andy head out to…
The World’s End– Gary tries to take his final pint while still wasted and Andy is done with his shit and finally dukes it out with him. He reveals that his wife has left him and his life is miserable as it is revealed that Gary has recently tried to kill himself and is still seeking help. Gary and Andy discover the Blanks plan with a cool voice appearance by bill Nighy, the return of Steve and then the world, well, ending. Really? You could not figure that out? The movie is called The World’s end for a motherfucki…
Well, thanks for that lovely final appearance from that segment.
The film actually captures something the other films had hints of and goes with it. The World’s End, while being a cleverly crafted film and arguably one of Edgar Wright’s best work to date, manages to convey the real human experience. As the characters have grown in the past, Gary is stuck reliving his only golden moment of his past. It is the last time he was happy and did not grow alongside his peers as they had their successes in life. Yet, even then, they had misery in their lives just as Gary did as change got to them, but even going back home, it did not change. It shows that while the place may have not change, the people certainly have or, in this film’s case anyway, Gary and his pals. The characters in the film are dynamic, have a reason for staying the course with Gary and never falls flat as the performances are greats
The film itself is one of the best of 2013 I have seen with great dialogue and smart wit that Wright and Pegg always manage to deliver, the aforementioned fantastic performances that are rich in heart and soul and direction that is fast pace and loose. Wright’s fighting direction is stepped up from previous efforts in the trilogy by being more slick and more well timed since directing Scott Pilgrim with giving a Drunken Master vibe to the fights in this film. The writing is great balancing the catastrophe of the Blanks at hand and the struggle of each character with emotion while delivering the humor we come to expect with these film. The World’s End is simply a triumphant conclusion to the series and one perfect film to end Film A Week on.
And so this series has come to a close. In the first post back on January 11th of this year, there was a clear set goal to explore new features, classics I have never seen before, and films you have probably never even heard about. From the great to the worst, the spotlight was open to any film I feasted my eyes on and share my experience with the rest of you all. After 52 weeks of continuous posting, we accomplished that goal. Not just me, we did. Those who read every post from the beginning and stuck around to the end, we did it and I was there to share the experience.
From the adventures of hoods fighting aliens to crossing the nation with Cary Grant, we conquered it all. We went to fantastical worlds killing a dark faerie dragon and catching a falling star to the apocalyptic sights of a zombie filled Philadelphia to the telekinetic Neo-Tokyo. We traveled to the galaxy with the crew of the Enterprise and the Power Rangers and went to the depths of the ocean to see Captain Nemo’s beloved kingdom. We went to the old West to hang with the Wild Bunch, headed to Rio to see the birds, embarked to Pagan Rome for lust and sex and visited the Shamouti Islands to save Pokemon.
We traveled through time with Doc Brown and Marty McFly, H.G. Wells and The Doctor and his TARDIS in 1999. We went to the 90’s to see the lives of the wallflower that was Charlie and were stuck in the harsh reality of the hood with Tre. We face the horror of witches, robots, radioactive monsters, a chainsaw wielding maniac, Lo Pan and Irreversible. There were underdogs like Rocky and top dogs like Michael Jackson and Brian, even if he was a naughty boy and not the Messiah. We fell in and out of love with benches overlooking Los Angeles, dancing the night away with a swing, documenting our experience in love, winning over a flower girl and erasing our minds to forget. We witnessed the real life tragedy of Zachary, the corruption of Toshiro and Thomas Jerome Newton and the mystery that surrounded Lumberton. Together, we made cinema ours, but like all good adventures, we have to end sometimes.
To tell you the truth, I really started this series to prove I can commit to something and stick with it. I was ready to give up at some point and ready to call it quits, but I kept it going and I could not have done it without any of you. From everyone who has appeared on Film A Week, I truly thank you for appearing on the site and would love to list you all here…which I will do.
- Jenni Chante (The Prince of Eygpt), and also being the best sister I can ask for
- Jesus Figueroa of Thisfunktional.com (Rio), and also giving this series a chance on his site and being one hell of a mentor and figure in my life
- Erik Luna (Coroline, Love Actually), and also helped me carry on
- Summer Gomez ((500) Days of Summer)
- Megan Perry (Batman Begins), and also believed in this crazy idea
- Veronica Hurtado (Roman Holiday)
- Diego Olivares (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)
- Clarisse Casino Ilagan (Love Actually)
- Lindsey Maeda (Love Actually), and along with Erik, kept me to keep going on my journey
- Alex Aguayo (Love Actually)
- Amanda Mayberry (Love Actually)
- Jade Inglada (Love Actually)
- Ilse Torres (Love Actually)
- Maria Rodarte (Love Actually)
- Rosaura Montes (Love Actually), and also meeting far away from home, yet being a closer friend than ever
- Marisa Roxanne Brown (Love Actually), and also being the best online friend I could ever ask for
- Anika Wilmore (Love Actually), and also being the kindest online friend I could have
- Freddy Andrew Monares (Love Actually)
- Dulce Carillo Compean (Love Actually)
- Ruben Perez (Love Actually)
- Angelique Enos (Love Actually), and also for coming into my life at a very strange time and helping me out
Off site, a thank you to Gerardo Monroy for being my best friend for the past nine years and not once giving up on me, even at my worst. To Danny Vasquez aka Dan for being a new best friend that I have grown to admire for his honesty and providing nothing but kind words to me. To my mother Gabby Guzman for believing in me, even if she does not read the site. To Antonio Uribe for showing me the world of anime and giving me insight into what exactly I can do to further myself. To my grandfather Salvador for being my idol, my rock and my king. To my uncle Ricky Guzman for giving me a new hero to look up to as he sails the world and explores. To my family for making sure I never once forgot where I came from. To my friends for standing the course beside me and not once looking back. Thank you all.
With that said, Film A Week is done and ready to be the beacon it always was. I loved doing this and I loved having to share this with you all, but when it is time to end it due to having a set time, it is always hard. There will be new ventures on the site and new ideas to explore, but there will only be one Film A Week and as long as I made you laugh, smile or even got a glimmer of your attention, I have done my job.
I am Sergio Berrueta and I end this series with a quote by the great Dr. Suess.
Don’t cry because it is over. Smile because it happened.