Have you ever had that one great night out? That night that you wish you could relive over, and over again? Well the latest film from the creative team behind Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz explores this very idea. 5 friends meet up after years of absence to complete the 12 bar pub crawl that defeated them. It’s a simple concept that works fantastically in this sci-fi setting.
The film centers around Gary King (Pegg), the man that never grew up. In school he was the King and his friends followed him like his subjects. The thing is he never really moved on. Whilst his friends all got married, had children and basically became adults, Gary continued as he was. Flash forward to the current day and he’s living in a tiny bedsit, wearing the same clothes and driving the same car he did back in the day. The fact that he never moved on leads him to get the old gang back together and have another shot at the golden mile. Andy (Frost), Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman) and Steven (Paddy Considine) agree, after some persuasion, to join him on the path to self destruction. At this point I’d like to say that the casting is superb, each actor gets their character down to a tee. As always the on screen chemistry between Pegg and Frost is fantastic and really helps deliver the more dark and sobering parts of the story. On their path to annihilation the group comes across Oliver’s sister Sam (Rosamund Pike), who has unfinished business of her own with Gary and Steven.
The thing with trilogies is that they tend to run out of steam by the end. However, this is one example of this not being the case. In fact you could say that Wright (writer/director) saved the best for last. Out of the three this is the deepest and most thoughtful film. It delivers laughs and at the same time drives forward a story that could easily get depressing without the correct writing. It’s a rare thing nowadays to see a comedy with an intelligent and thought provoking plot, but that is exactly what is achieved here.
Overall what we have here is a well crafted, delightfully funny and well delivered sci-fi comedy. Let’s be honest though, was it ever in doubt? This is the team that brought us Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, not to mention the brilliant series Spaced. The end of this trilogy really shows us the evolution of Pegg, Frost and Wright as film makers. If anyone ever deserved to go from nerds with a dream to Hollywood royalty it’s these guys.