Hyperkinetic director Edgar Wright's previous collaborations with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost—Shaun of the Dead
and Hot Fuzz
—share the same DNA, and not just in the surface-value genre-mashing that makes the films both disarmingly hysterical and unexpectedly touching. Beneath the blood-soaked zombie apocalypse, or among the spent bullet casings of a buddy-cop shootout, the team explores the fears of men who were once the boys weaned on these very genres: abandonment, uncertainty of the future, the inability to grow up, and, chiefly, the increasing inability to deal with hangovers. It's no surprise, then, that Wright, Pegg and Frost have rounded out what is unofficially named the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy with The World's End
, a film that dives deep into the fractured friendship of a group of small-town pals drawn back home to re-attempt the Golden Mile, a 12-stop pub crawl that bested them two decades before. Tempers flare, painful memories resurface, regrets are aired and friendships are laid bare. It's kind of like The Big Chill
, but without the heavy-handedness. And with a legion of murderous, body-snatching robots disguised as the townfolk and bent on taking over the universe. Yet, despite its many strengths, The World's End
remains the weakest film of the trilogy. It’s the most straightforward and accessible of the three, but it’s also the most morose. It's a strange approach for a movie about a robot invasion, but a perfect way to cap such a wonderful series: As soon as the credits roll, fans have to face the fact that this tremendous series is over.