Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan, Rosamund Pike
THE apocalypse is nigh in The World’s End. Five childhood pals reunite to complete a legendary pub crawl in their sleepy hometown only to discover the locals have been replaced by robots.
The tone veers wildly between sci-fi, comedy, action and horror, anchored by an exuberant performance from Pegg as the most instantly unlikeable and irritating anti-hero to swagger out of British cinema in recent memory.
A prologue set in June 1990 sketches the bonds of friendship between five teenagers, who fail to complete a crawl of 12 local pubs, culminating in a final glorious pint at The World’s End. Two decades later, the ringleader of that motley crew, Gary King (Pegg), decides to bring the lads back together to complete the booze-fuelled feat known as The Golden Mile.
Gary treats every crisis as a joke and couldn’t care less about the emotional devastation he leaves in his wake, so long as he completes the crawl. Tensions are inflamed when Oliver’s pretty sister Sam (Pike) turns up in Newton Haven. Gary’s clumsy advances are politely rebuffed.
Romantic overtures are forgotten when Gary unmasks the strangely emotionless residents as robotic doppelgangers.
The World’s End is peppered with cameos, none of which produce big laughs or distract from implausibilities in the plot.
Pegg and Frost have their banter down pat and Pike injects a soupcon of girl power.