Friday, November 29, 2013

"The Worlds End" (2013)

The third of the “Cornetto Trilogy” is, like many third instalments in a series (even though this isn’t really that kind of trilogy), the least fulfilling of the bunch. Sure, it has the same look, style, sense of fun, and other commonalities. (It shares the same levels of harsh language and violence that prohibits its recommendation to the more “discerning” viewers I know. Although: the violence is less offensive since the blood is all blue and not really blood, and the language is, well… worse.)

However, the main reason “The Worlds End” is a letdown is the message. Each of these films has one. Either a call to live life more intentionally, or to balance society’s need for structure with the innate need for individuals to have freedom. Here the point seems to be a claim that humanity’s best value is their dogged self-determinism. Even when that means we are destined to be eternal screw-ups. At one point things look they are all merely going for irony, when the humans reject the “robot overlords” and the whole world falls into the Dark Ages, but not so much.

Perhaps one could even put a positive spin on things—there is still a stylish sense of fun to be had—but Simon Pegg’s character this time around is simply unlikable. And it’s not so that he can grow as a character in the course of the plot. He starts out and ends up as a self-absorbed jerk. Exactly the sort of self-absorbed, screw everything up, destroy every relationship he ever had kind of jerk that this films ends up glorifying and championing.

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