Following “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”, director Edgar Wright with actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, complete their so called “Cornetto Trilogy” with another genre defying film.
If we try pub crawl comedy with shades of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, all mixed with a sprinkling of mild horror. That should cover it, although it might cause space issues on the poster.
Gary King (Simon Pegg), a man-child who has never moved on, contacts his four best friends to re-enact an epic twelve pub crawl (the Golden Mile), a feat they failed to complete 20 years earlier.
Each friend is difficult to persuade, unlike Gary they have made something of their lives. This leaves Gary somewhat desperate and reliant on his dubious social skills and charm. That having failed, he plays the sympathy card which proves far more effective.
The group King assembles, includes successful lawyer “Andy” (Nick Frost), real estate agent “Oliver” (Martin Freeman), timid luxury car dealer “Peter” (Eddie Marsan) and finally construction engineer “Steven” (Paddy Considine).
A gathering of the fellowship if you will, although Freeman will enjoy not having to wear big feet for this one. However of all the characters, Freeman will need to keep his head about him, to make the last pub.
Twelve pubs, one pint in each, what could possibly go wrong?
The group arrive in Newton Haven, Hertfordshire to complete the “Golden Mile”, aboard the “The Beast” a 1980 Ford Granada. The group commence with varying degrees of readiness and commitment to the evenings entertainment. “Andy” does not start well, ordering a pint of water at the first pub appropriately named, “The First Post”.
Petty slights and not so forgotten divisions within the group soon begin to surface but as they start to feel the dubious benefits of excessive alcohol, they are suddenly faced with their biggest challenge yet.
Only the end of the world as we know it and worse, they are the only people that can save it. God help us all.
The film is from the team that brought you “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”, so most viewers will know whether this is a film for them or not. The fact the group end up fighting almost human robots or “Blanks” with detachable, limbs and heads will come as no surprise.
Fortunately, from a film certificate point of view, the creatures are only filled with a blue liquid, otherwise a 18 certificate might be more appropriate. As you would expect, there is plenty of good natured swearing and comic book violence, even Rosamund Pike as Oliver’s sister, gets busy with bar stools and the like.
Pierce Brosnan also gets a look in, seemingly in almost every movie at present. Brosnan plays a school teacher from the lad’s past. As every pupil knows, there were always some teachers you suspected were aliens or robots, this may just be tangible proof.
If you were expecting a character study then you are looking in the wrong place. If you are searching for a fun weekend film, perhaps after a bevy or two this will do fine. The comedy is pushed front and centre, not always working but some of the gags stick, Gary asking for an explanation of WTF is probably worth the admission price.
The film makes a point of being absurd, a crazy idea extended to feature length, complete with the now de riguer fence joke. The movie does falter towards the conclusion, with various strands hurriedly wrapped up, suggesting nobody knew how the film should end or due to budget constraints.
The cast are clearly enjoying themselves, the fight scenes are expertly choreographed and executed and the effects are mostly state of the art. The music selections are good and whilst Pegg and Freeman are arguably too famous for this nonsense now, they are clearly still at home on lower(ish) budget fare, in between their A-List outings.
Arguably the weakest of the trilogy, mainly due to the original premise not possessing the comedic legs of earlier films.
However, fun whilst it lasts and if you are under 30 and watching this on a weekend, possibly after your own “Golden Mile” attempt, add an extra star