I have one of the most embarrassing drunk stories ever. I won’t go into the dark details, except to say that night also featured me attempting the rap from ‘I’m Free’ by the Soup Dragons and a friend who was a big fan of the Sisters of Mercy. All of which (except my friend) feature in this film.
I have no desire to relive that night, but that’s certainly not the case for charismatic loser Gary King (Simon Pegg) who had one of the best nights of his life in 1992 while drunk with his gang of friends from school. They were attempting ‘The Golden Mile’ – a pub crawl taking in 12 pubs, one drink in each pub. They failed to make it to the end and even though it’s now 2012, King still hasn’t moved on, seeing that night as the best of his life. While his other friends now have families, jobs and responsibilities, he’s a loner attending an AA meeting. Still wearing his trademark trenchcoat and Sisters of Mercy T-Shirt, he decides to round up the old gang and finish what they failed to do 20 years earlier.
There’s a lot of great jokes in this film and you will especially appreciate them if you grew up in 90’s Britain (like me). If you didn’t you will still be entertained but there are many subtle references to English culture you may not get if you didn’t live here. There are also times when Gary quotes song lyrics verbatim and although these songs were played earlier in the film – if you aren’t from the UK you may not be familiar enough with them to notice.
In a way it’s a shame that what happens halfway through the film – the group find out that most of the inhabitants of their old home town have been replaced by alien robots – couldn’t have been kept secret and out of the trailers, but even so it’s a great idea. Exactly how would you know in many of these towns? the inhabitants already look like robots! At this point the film becomes very action-orientated as the group have to fight the robots and also desperately try to avoid being replaced by robots themselves. Thankfully this doesn’t stop Gary and his friends carrying on with the pub crawl regardless. Do they make it to ‘The World’s End ‘ (the final pub)? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.
Overall it’s very enjoyable and also very funny. If you enjoyed Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (the other two films in The Cornetto Trilogy of which this is the third) you will enjoy this. The only negative point for me was that some of the humour is lost as the action takes over and you wish the pub crawl could have gone on a little longer in it’s normal state first. My favourite bit? when Gary tells the alien leader to “Get back in your f*cking rocket ship and fly back to Legoland you c*nt!” 8/10