* * * ½
with sci-fi twist)
One Night. Five middle-aged guys. Twelve pubs.
If you like British humor, you’ll like “The World’s End,” at least up to the outlandish ending.
Simon Pegg follows up on his “Shaun of the Dead” success, starring as Gary King, a middle-aged loser who gathers four former pals from high school to complete their quest of 20 years ago. Celebrating their high school graduation, the five guys set out to drink their way through a dozen pubs in the quaint village of Newton Haven.
But times have changed. The five men have little in common and are carrying around a lot of baggage.
And then there is Newton Haven, a village that has changed from quaintness to weirdness.
The first half of the movie is filled with funny lines, as only the British can deliver them.
As the octet nears the finish lines things get a bit too weird, as they discover that the villagers are not who they think they are. The humor changes from subtle and clever to a series of over-the-top physical encounters. The pubs are typical of England and the characters are delightful until they turn into monsters.
There are some not-so-subtle messages about trying to relive your youth and discovering that you can’t go home again.
Rosamund Pike and a surprise character show up for the dumb conclusion.
Rated R, with lots of profanity, sci-fi violence and a few sexual innuendos.