A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The World's End is an offbeat hybrid that starts out like a buddy comedy and ends up being a whole other kettle of fish. Like Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, which were made by the same director and stars, it's irreverent and unpredictable, which makes it truly enjoyable, but its edgy content means it's definitely best for older teens and up. Expect loads of drinking -- the movie is, after all, about an epic pub crawl gone very awry -- and scenes of violence (though they're cartoonish and played for laughs at times) with limbs coming off, explosions, outright melees, and the like. There's lots of swearing, including "f--k," "s--t," and much more.
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What's the story?
Gary King (Simon Pegg) was once the king of his fivesome, cool and mysterious in his black overcoat and shades and enticing his friends into a mile-long pub crawl ... but they stopped three short of the record dozen. Decades later, stuck in the past, broken but not defeated, Gary is determined to go for the dirty dozen once more. But first he must persuade his old pals -- the now buff-and-successful developer, Steven (Paddy Considine); the still mild-mannered car salesman, Peter (Eddie Marsan); the man-on-the-go estate agent, Oliver (Martin Freeman); and Gary's old-best-friend-turned-lawyer-who-now-hates-him, Andy (Nick Frost) -- to join him. And even if they do, the road to The World's End, the last of the 12 bars, will prove to be paved with otherworldly, violent intrusions.
Is it any good?
Fabulously fun and wonderfully weird, THE WORLD'S END is a brilliant mash-up of buddy comedies and alien invasion thrillers. What really makes this movie -- which is part of an unofficial trilogy (with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) that takes film genres and turns them on their heads -- work are its unexpected turns, which are at once deft and daft, in the best ways.
It owes its success in no small part to its ensemble, which is led by the fearless and gleefully deranged Pegg, who exudes the smarminess of a man past his prime who clings to the belief that he's not. Still, he remains charismatic, which makes it understandable that his old pals still show up (except perhaps Andy, whose reasons for being angry after all these years make his participation feel off-key). At times, the movie's tone is discordant -- is it funny? poignant? -- and there are bits in the end that veer toward maudlin. (Is it a meditation on alcoholism or friendship?) But all of that said, The World's End is very, very good. And unlike the pub-crawling quintet here, you won't be sorry for drinking in the mayhem.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role that drinking plays in The World's End. What part does it play in the quintet's friendship? Is it glamorized at all?
What is the movie saying about friendship? And about alcoholism (or any kind of dependency), for that matter?
Why do you think the five friends lost touch? Is it normal for friendships to dissipate over time, or are there other factors at play in the movie?
Why do you think Gary is bent on going on the pub crawl? Is it his last hurrah? An act of desperation? A yearning for happier times? Is it believable that his old friends would come along?
- In theaters: August 23, 2013
- On DVD or streaming: November 19, 2013
- Cast: Martin Freeman, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg
- Director: Edgar Wright
- Studio: Focus Features
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 109 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: pervasive language including sexual references
- Last updated: July 24, 2020
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