We all know that high school friend that can’t seem to move on — they are still wearing their letterman jacket or reminiscing about “the good ol’ days” years after graduation. Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s character Gary King in “The World’s End” is exactly that. The opening scene is of a room in a rehab center, where Gary (played by Pegg himself) has clearly hit rock bottom. Struck out in growing up and chasing dreams, Gary holds on to a goal — to drink his way through “The Golden Mile,” a 12 pub neighborhood crawl in his hometown that he and old friends never completed during their senior year.
Thus enters Oliver (Martin Freeman of “Hobbit” fame), Steven (Paddy Considine), Peter (Eddie Marsan) and Andy (Nick Frost), who have not seen Gary or bothered to keep in touch for over ten years.
Gary’s outdated look and lingo is hilariously contrasted against the quiet lives his school chums have adopted as he convinces them each to return to their hometown for one last shot at “The Golden Mile.” Reluctantly they agree, despite Gary’s mental instability.
By the third pub in the Mile, Gary begins to suspect that the town’s inhabitants are not quite human. To their horror, the band of former schoolmates learns that alien robots have taken over their old stomping grounds and forced them into mindless, Starbucks-esque assimilation in trade for technology and connection. As the crew fights off these robots, they remember the friendship they could rely on.
“The World’s End” is a satirical commentary on an age of commercialization and social control that complicates relationships and sacrifices individuality. A sci-fi comedy that is as funny and bizarre as it is heartwarming, I will watch “The World’s End” again for Pegg and friends — they’re the memorable ones, anyway.
Stephanie Morin is a senior public relations and history double major. This review reflects the view of the writer only.