My husband and I go to the movies every weekend and we love going to the movies together. Either he picks or I pick. This week, I picked "The World's End." I picked the movie based on the rave reviews critics gave this movie. My husband will tell me he likes a movie or hates a movie. This week, he hated the movie I selected. I have mixed views about the movie. The critics – especially the elite critics on both coasts -- are raving about this movie. My husband and I always rate each other’s pick. After the movie, I wasn’t looking forward to his rating.
The movie: “The World’s End.”
It stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. I loved their movie “Paul.” I read the reviews for “The World’s End” and based upon the reviews, I thought this movie would be similar – Extra-Terrestrial, Funny, Endearing, Good Moral. This movie was all of the above. However, there was a big difference. “Paul” was about a couple of Brits vacationing in America who happen upon an extra-terrestrial. “The World’s End” was different. This time the movie was based in England. The humor, especially the first hour, was strictly stiff upper lip, British. I suppose this plays well for the New York urban crowd, but for regular Americans, the British have an entirely different, non-American point of view.I was never a big fan of British movies. Actually, my husband fell asleep about 15 minutes into the movie. He thought it was so very boring. I had to agree.
So for the first hour, the movie plods along, British humor, stiff upper lip, pub crawl. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Then, about an hour in, the film, we get our Socks Knocked Off!!
When the film gets its kick-start, they go into a different ozone layer. It goes over the top! Bizarre! Almost Crazy. Insane. You are knocked off of your seats. Maybe not in a good way. I certainly did not feel comfortable with the transition, nor settle down to any happy ending through to the end. The movie just made me feel manipulated, jacked around, laughing, angry, happy for the hero.For those who haven’t seen the movie, please stop reading.
The movie was about a young man who was the teenage leader of his crowd. He was at the top of his heap. King of his pack. His pack attempted to complete “The World’s End Tour (drinking tour)” but failed. After they failed, he lost his dreams, lost everything, became an alcoholic, tried to commit suicide and nearly succeeded. At 40, he escaped from his mental institution and attempted to relive his dream, finding his old “pack” in their current, middle-aged doldrums and convincing them to complete the tour.
That’s the starting point of The World’s End. His meeting up with his childhood friends and attempting to complete the 12 bar drinking tour that they failed as teenagers. As he attempts to relive his lost childhood, he and his friends find that his old hometown was overtaken by extra-terrestrials. Ultimately he redeems himself by defeating them and starting a new pack of friends. Then the ET’s destroy the world as we know it. Somehow our world is NOT defeated. The strong survive and rebuild from their grassroots. (Sort of like the future world of Terminator.)“The World’s End” is a redeeming and intelligent story, but this redemption and intelligence was NOT enough to save the movie nor save it from a failure at the box office, regardless how much the Elite Critics praise the movie.
I don’t believe American audiences will like this movie. It’s too slow. It’s too focused on British Rural, Middle-Aged Culture. I've seen comments about Simon Pegg being the revitalization of Monty Python. But what volumes of young persons today will relate to Monty Python?All I can say is, my husband fell asleep twice in the first hour. During the first hour, it bored me too. Plus, after the movie did its dynamic turn to extra-terrestrial and good moral ending, for some reason, it didn’t touch my heart. It should have touched my heart (as “Paul” did).
My husband gave this movie a Resounding THUMBS DOWN and added, “What the Hell did We Just See!! From now on, I pick!” I have to mention that most people in our audience were agreeing with my husband.
I chose the movie wanting a WIN and based on reviews and the fact I loved the movie “Paul.” I like Simon Pegg and his partner Nick Frost. I should have WON today. I lost. I ultimately have to agree with my husband.Like it or not, Hollywood needs to focus on people like my husband and people like me. We love movies. We go every weekend. We want to see a movie we can relate to. If a movie is attempting to relate to an audience, you cannot focus on a “Stiff Upper Lip” mentality for American audiences.
I think most people want to see a good story they can relate to. We don’t want to be bored by stories pushing a specific culture that is NON familiar to American audiences. We don’t want a story or moral pushed upon us. I got the story. I understand the redeeming values. I wanted this story to work. I picked it. In the end, I lost. He gave it a thumbs down. It is very clear to me that this movie failed.I believe American audiences will agree with me.
Post note: I understand and "Get" that the elitist reviewers will attempt to demonize American audiences for "being stupid" and not understanding what this movie was attempting to accomplish. I disagree. The media and critics LOVE the British and fawn all over anything they publish or any movie they release. American audiences are NOT stupid. We want to relate to what we know. NOT to what the elitists or British audiences want us to relate to.