By Brenda W. Clough
This is the first movie directed by Edgar White that I have seen, and I am reliably informed (by my son) that World’s End is similar in style and tone to his other work. Certainly this movie is very much itself — a strong sense of what it is doing and what it is trying to say. In this movie five school buddies get back together again for one more massive binge, touring all twelve bars in their home town and ending up at the pub called World’s End. Your standard growing-up plot, until the work takes a sharp left turn into Aliens territory and then the hijinks really start.
What I would debate is whether it really is science fiction or not. Are all movies that involve alien invasion and the cloning/takeover of earth’s population science fiction? Or is it possible to have a bar movie about the subject? Because if it is possible then Worlds End is that movie. The SFnal elements are not as close to the emotional heart of the film as the drinking-buddies aspect of it. Can it be that at last, now we are in the 21st century, that alien invasions are merely a detail, a feature in a larger work on the level of an original soundtrack, or a cameo by Patrick Stewart? Hard to say whether this would be good for the industry, or bad.
The film has a charming pace and originality, and the cast is superb — you’ll recognize Bilbo Baggins in there. Not a movie for the ages, and not real SF — I am not going to nominate this for the film Nebula, for instance. — but oddly close.
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