The World’s End
Directed by Edgar Wright
Written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg
Starring Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Martin Freeman
Release Date: August 23, 2012 (U.S.)
“We wanna be free! We wanna be free to do what we wanna do. And we wanna get loaded. And we wanna have a good time. And that’s what we are gonna do. We are gonna have a good time… We are gonna have a party.”
That little speech – abbreviated slightly from its original version – plays a large role in defining the theme of The World’s End, the eagerly-anticipated closing chapter in the “Blood and Ice Cream” (or “Three Flavours Cornetto”) trilogy that director Edgar Wright and his frequent star and co-writer Simon Pegg created a decade ago with the romantic zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead and continued in 2007 with the blazing police action drama spoof Hot Fuzz. The speech was first heard in the 1966 biker movie classic The Wild Angels and was given by Peter Fonda’s character Heavenly Blues. I recognized those lines the moment they were played on the soundtrack.
The World’s End is, I believe, about the futility of trying to recapture your lost youth when you never lost it to begin with. But it is also about how when most of us enter adulthood we take it upon ourselves to abandon our youthful identities completely and replace them with domesticity and responsibility. The five main characters of The World’s End never learned to reconcile the buttoned-down, easy-going side of their personalities with the spirited sense of fun and friendship that defined them as people growing up. The lead character decided to remain a child forever but instead grew into a sad and bedraggled wretch of a human being while his four best friends became hollow shells of what they once were.
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