Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright, both still best-loved in America for 2004's zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead, say they developed the idea for The World's End during the press tour for their second movie, 2007's cop-movie homage Hot Fuzz. May be, but the financial failure of Wright's 2010 Pegg-free (and far more expensive) magnum opus Scott Pilgrim vs. the World may also account for why this final entry in what Wright calls "The Cornetto Trilogy" returns to many of the elements of Shaun of the Dead: attempting to recreate an epic pub crawl that he and his friends (including Nick Frost, naturally) never completed as teenagers in 1990, Pegg's man-child protagonist has to grow up fast when society collapses around him, this time in the form of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style robot takeover of their hometown. The World's End also continues the genre deconstruction of Shaun and Fuzz ("robot" is the new zed-word, and just what happens to the snatched bodies, anyway?), and it's fun enough to be appreciated by audiences who aren't already fans of the series. But it also feels rote, and almost safe, in a way that a Wright and Pegg movie shouldn't. Here's to hoping they go in a new direction for their first post-trilogy picture.
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