Labor Day is almost here and we're deep enough into the calendar year that when a film critic declares a picture to be "light-years the most entertaining movie of the year," we sit up and take notice -- even if the year as a whole has been almost entirely bereft of "entertaining" movies, or, at least, the kind of movies that aspire to merely entertain and not make you dwell on tragedy ("Fruitvale Station"), the emptiness of our culture ("The Bling Ring") or the struggles that come with aging and evolving with someone you love ("Before Midnight").
New York magazine film critic David Edelsetein gushes that Edgar Wright's new comedy, "The World's End," contains "one bravura set piece after another," "brilliantly staged" action and an all-star cast that is "perfection." The review ran nearly two weeks before the film's opening (it arrives in theaters Friday), which would seem curious timing had not several outlets also jumped the gun, publishing their glowing notices back in July when the movie opened in England.
"The World's End," like 2004's zombie comedy "Shaun of the Dead" and 2007's action movie send-up "Hot Fuzz," stars Nick Frost and Simon Pegg and was written by Wright and Pegg. The film follows a group of friends who discover an alien invasion during a pub crawl, though the genre aspects of the movie, as in the earlier films, function as a framework to explore deeper topics like nostalgia, addiction and male friendship. (For more, read Gina McIntyre's fine interview with the trio here.
Wright has always enjoyed a cozy relationship with the Comic-Con crowd, making it difficult to fully trust an appraisal from one of the geek bloggers. (Again: Not impossible, just difficult.)
But when an NPR guy like Edelstein (who, by the way, did not particularly like Wright's last movie, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World," though he laid most of the blame on its star, Michael Cera) comes along and pulls out the superlatives, it's enough to make you pull this out of your DVD library to kill the time between now and Friday. That or go on a bar tour of your own. It is, after all, the weekend.
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