Combine “Invasion Of The Body Snatchers” (1978 version) and “Shaun Of The Dead” and you get “The World’s End.”  Only the end product isn’t as good as any of the two first mentioned movies.  I’ll tell you why later.

“The World’s End” is about a 40-something-year-old loser (played by Simon Pegg) whose life is so crappy that all he has left is his goal to relive a night when he was much younger and cooler and he went bar hopping with 4 of his best friends.  The previous goal of the bar hopping: to visit 12 pubs and drink 1 pint per pub, all in one night, with the last pub named The World’s End.  That goal was never accomplished as the five dudes were too wasted.  But decades later, Pegg decides he wants another go at it; and suckers his 4 friends into joining him.  Unfortunately for all of them, the town that the 12 pubs are located in have been taken over by aliens who disguise themselves in human form.  And you either join or die.

Die is what I wanted Pegg to do, because his character is an incredible jackass.   Most people will either run away from him or beat him into a coma.  Bottom line, a hero who is not likeable makes the audience want to see him die instead of prevail against alien invaders.  Luckily we have Nick Frost, best friend of Pegg, who is funny and likeable and provides much of the heart of the movie.  As for the alien invasion storyline, it doesn’t kick in until about 30 minutes into the movie!  I was sitting in my car watching this and wondering if I made a mistake regarding what the movie was about.

“The World’s End” has many jokes all throughout the movie, but many of them misfire.  There are many impressive, fighting sequences that border on what you see in Hong Kong martial arts movies; and once the action starts, it hardly stops.  So, just like a train, it’s off to a slow start; but once it gets going, it really gets going.  Bonus points for the movie’s intense pacing during the 2nd and 3rd acts.

**Slight spoiler alert here**  My most memorable, movie moment of “The World’s End” is the scene when Pegg and his friends confront the leader of the alien invasion.  For those of you “Star Trek” fans (like me!), it’ll remind you of those many scenes when Captain Kirk or Captain Picard has to plea to a much more powerful being that humans deserve to live.  Only Pegg does it in a very crude, funny, and raucous way that finally had me cheering for him.

So, fans of “Shaun Of The Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” go and watch this movie.  It’s not great, but it’s good enough.

M

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