I was lucky enough to score an invite to a screening of the third film in the Cornetto trilogy by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost, The World's End. It's a kind of a cross between the Big Chill, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy. An unabashed fan of their previous films together, Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, I was predisposed to liking it. And like it I did. In fact, I kind of want to go watch it again because I have a feeling that I missed a whole slew of jokes as the dialogue is fast and furious and only lets up at the very end.
The premise is simple: five childhood friends reunite to finish the pub crawl that they couldn't finish as teenagers. Now in their 40s, they've grown apart and grown up, all except for Gary King (played by Simon Pegg) who's that guy you see out at night and think "Aren't you too old for this?" Without giving up any secrets, I can say that the Edgar Wright regulars all make an appearance, the dialogue is hilarious, and it actually has a surprisingly grounded and touching heart in the middle of all the insanity. Everyone is uniformly entertaining and watching the chemistry between all the lads is a thing of beauty. There are also some outstanding action sequences; Nick Frost in particular tears it up in a sequence that's both impressive and hilarious.
There was a Q&A after the screening with Wright, Pegg, and Frost, and their 20+ year friendship was evident. I think what impressed me the most was that when asked how much of the film was improvised on the set, the answer was "none of it really." They did a rehearsal with the actors and the script and there was the occasional discovery in that process which was then written in, but even that was pretty rare.
The World's End opens in the United States on August 23rd, but the boys are doing a US tour with the film so you too might be able to see the film early and then chat with the fellows. Most of these events are offering a triple feature of the entire Cornetto trilogy which sounds like tons of fun. There are currently six cities on the tour so check out the list to see if it's coming in your direction.