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Movie Review

The World's End

MPAA Rating: R for pervasive language including sexual references.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
CONTRIBUTOR

Extremely Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults Teens
Genre:
Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 49 min.
Year of Release:
2013
USA Release:
August 23, 2013 (wide—1,400+ theaters)
DVD: November 19, 2013
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Focus Features

loss of friend

heavy drinking

alien invasion

apocalypse / “end of the world”

Featuring: Simon PeggGary King
Nick FrostAndy Knightley
Rosamund PikeSam Chamberlain
Eddie MarsanPeter Page
Martin FreemanOliver Chamberlain
Pierce BrosnanGuy Shephard (uncredited)
Bill NighyThe Network (voice) (uncredited)
more »
Director: Edgar Wright—“Hot Fuzz,” “Shaun of the Dead
Producer: Big Talk Productions
Relativity Media
more »
Distributor: Focus Features

“One night. Six friends. Twelve pubs. Total annihilation.”

Gary King (Simon Pegg) and his best mates believed they were on top of the world when they began their infamous pub crawl. But that was over 20 years ago, and while his friends have found that life could get better, Gary’s life did not. Hoping to recreate the “glory days,” Gary recruits the old gang to finish what they started long ago by visiting and drinking at all 12 pubs until they reach the last one, The World’s End. Little do they know how appropriate that name will be.

The collaborative team that made “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz” are back this time with a similar effort in an apocalyptic sci-fi comedy that begins with the mostly down and out Gary desperately trying to recapture his youth with his (now) much more successful friends. Yet, as this reluctant group begins their sojourn, they notice that while the town may not have changed, the people have. Distant, aloof and strangely overly observant, the mystery deepens until a bathroom confrontation leads them to conclude that the townspeople have been replaced by robots, and if they don’t watch their step, they may be, too. So what are they to do? Finish the pub crawl, of course!

Objectionable Issues

Violence: Heavy to Extreme. Almost entirely visited upon their robotic, yet lifelike, foes, heads are crushed/severed, limbs torn off and robot blood, blue in color, is sprayed everywhere. No fatal human injuries are seen, and much of what is can be categorized as comic violence. Still, this is one very violent film.

Language: Extremely Offensive. The Lord’s name is taken in vain a dozen times, and Gary says on the ride over that the Bible is a work of fiction written by Jesus. In addition to this, the litany of curses are both vast and frequent, including almost a hundred instances of the “F” word, the “S” word at just over a dozen, and various euphemisms for both male and female genitals. The middle finger is also used in lieu of a verbal insult.

Sex/Nudity: Heavy. Aside from the language and sexual talk, which is very implicit, there is sex in a men’s restroom stall (not shown, but heard). One brief scene shows a man’s buttocks in a non-sexual manner. Gary makes an improper advance suggesting sex with a girl they once knew and the men discuss multiple partners and in particular a younger trio of girls at a club who are wearing school uniforms (all over 18). Andy (Nick Frost) is propositioned by one girl with a very blatant sexual offer, and a reference is also made in passing to gay sex.

Lessons

At first, Gary’s friends are surprised that he is able to talk Andy into the trip, as Gary had betrayed him in the past. In fact, Andy is the most reluctant and tells Gary later that “I would have followed you anywhere,” but for Gary’s abandoning him at an accident. The Word of God encourages us to have those friendships and not to rely just on family.

“Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father and do not go to your brother’s house when disaster strikes you-better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.” (Proverbs 27:10)

One of the town’s oldest residents explains that the aliens simply want to change us and have us merge with them into their collective. In other words, they are remaking the residents in their own image. Just as God first said, “Let us make man in our image… ” (Genesis 1:26), so do the alien’s wish to alter our original design to their liking. As Christians, we understand that the great deceiver, Satan, has always been trying to supplant God’s place and like the aliens portrayed here the Bible warns us to be wary when it was said,

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Gary, in trying to justify his life explains, “I have freedom to do what I want, anytime I want.” Unlike any of his friends, Gary has led an undisciplined, pleasure seeking life that, as the Word of God says, will bring him no happiness, and he finally realizes that. In a moment of rare honesty, he admits, “That [1990] was supposed to be the beginning of the rest of my life. It was a big lie!” Unfortunately, his actions show what a slave he has become to those very same vices.

“They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for a man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.” (2 Peter 2:19)

“Everyone who sins is a slave to sin.” (John 8:34)

Gary, in part, represents the common man who, having gone down the path of self-indulgence, finds it very difficult, if not impossible, to turn back the clock and start anew. The Bible is very clear about the perils of this mind set and why this happens to so many who have rejected God.

“Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:28)

Closing Thoughts: “The World’s End” is an off-beat comedy, with a seemingly irredeemable main character that will no doubt appeal to fans of their earlier movies. Funny at times, the film does flirt with hilarity, except for the constant distraction of perverse language and behavior. Based on its low brow humor level, it is aimed at both adults and teens, but should only be viewed by adults comfortable with this type of film and is most definitely not recommended to Christians, regardless of their sensibilities.

Violence: Heavy to extreme / Profanity: Extreme—“Jesus Christ” (2), “Jesus” (2), “Christ,” f-words (over 70), and many other vulgarities / Sex/Nudity: Moderate to heavy

“VOTING” FOR IMMORAL MOVIES—Every time you buy a movie ticket or rent a video you are casting a vote telling Hollywood “That’s what I want.” Why does Hollywood continue to promote immoral programming? Are YOU part of the problem? Answer

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—Yes, “World War Z” is offensive. But I was very excited when I read (and heard) some secular people’s reviews saying there wasn’t that much violence, why was it only PG-13, it wasn’t like other zombie movies… well, that got my attention. When I was a teenager, and wasn’t living like I should, I loved zombie movies, but they always had too much nudity, sex, cursing and blood and gore everywhere. After the kids went to bed, my husband and I tried this movie out. Not only was it extremely well thought-out and just… thought provoking, it had no sex or nudity, and the violence wasn’t blood-splashing like everything is today. Yes, it was violent. The hardest part was the bad language, especially the g-d’s.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Laura, age 39 (USA)
Positive—In response to T. As well. I know the movie is called “The World’s End” but it is not ACTUALLY about the end of the world in the Biblical sense or a non-biblical sense either. It is the name of the twelfth and final pub at the end of a pub crawl called “The Golden Mile.” There is an alien invasion of sorts but the point of the movie is not to make fun of the end of the world. The actual main point, beyond the pub crawl, is about friendship and forgiveness. And there is a joke about the Bible but it’s not really that offensive. It just shows the ignorance of one of the characters.

I know that you might get hung up on the language, the violence, and the sex-related dialog, but this is a very funny film that is at times very moving and very thoughtful. I know you’ll never watch it, but those of us who did thoroughly enjoyed it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—John [Faith: Agnostic], age 31 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—This movie was alright. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense at times, though I thought the artistic qualities were well done. I went with three friends, and we were all confused for a solid half of the movie. I did laugh a lot in the movie, but looking back I can’t remember a specific moment or line that made me laugh. I didn’t find the main character likeable in the slightest, or any of his friends for that matter. It isn’t a very positive film, even the ending was rather depressing. Lots of language, most notably when the main character uses the C-words multiple times. I am not easily offended by language, and usually I don’t even notice it, but I did notice that this movie had plenty of cursing in it. Looking back, I wish I had spent the money on a different movie. It just wasn’t very memorable, or positive at all.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Jenny, age 21 (USA)
Negative
Negative—…It contains very offensive, foul language, the acting not of the best order especially from the otherwise excellent Simon Pegg. This film is a follow up of sorts to “Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz,” both of which were much better films.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Gwen, age 66 (United Kingdom)
Comments from young people
Positive—“The World’s End” is an extremely well-done and entertaining comedy, but it doesn’t quite have the big laughs of “Shaun of the Dead” or “Hot Fuzz.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—C, age 15 (USA)
Positive—I have seen the prequels (“Shaun of the Dead” and “Hot Fuzz”), and it somewhere in between. Its definitely better than “Hot Fuzz,” but definitely not as good as “Shaun of the Dead.” Violence and sex aren’t an issue, but language and alcoholism are. P.S.—Nick Frost is one of the funniest men on the planet.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Ty, age 14 (USA)
Negative—Hello, I just have this feeling I need to tell someone what I felt about this movie. I went with my friends to the cinema today, and I guess I just went along with all of them and ended up watching this. I was not sure about which movie we were going to watch, and I didn’t think about searching any comments before; I never do. The thing is, I feel bad about myself, because during the movie there was this strong feeling telling me to leave the room and didn’t obey till the last 15 min.

My critique is surely negative. I’m not very religious, like if there’s sex content, I won’t watch it, or even if there are bad words. But I did feel insulted with some scenes of that movie because they were making fun of what I believe. I did consider again to change my perception about it, when I saw one of the characters was redeemed and saved after doing a kind-hearted action, but when I saw this same guy in heaven smoking weed, I reaffirmed my original thoughts. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Roy Ramirez, age 15 (Costa Rica)
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—I am getting so tired of all these “end of the world” movies. I can’t even begin to count how many they’ve made so far. To be honest, it’s starting to get creepy, because it seems like the media is trying to tell us something. I already know this movie doesn’t have the Bible as its guide, and not only that, but there’s nothing original about it, the only difference is that the characters are British, not American (and, since it’s British, you can really count on the movie not being Christian-themed, because nowadays the UK is pretty much full of atheists, Christianity doesn’t even exist over there anymore).

Until Hollywood comes up with something new, I won’t be investing money in the movie theater, or DVDs for that matter. My advice is to skip this one.
My Ratings: Moral rating: / Moviemaking quality:
—T., age 20 (USA)
Neutral—In response to T., I think it’s very offensive to assume that most Brits are Atheist. You wouldn’t want to be stereotyped as a whole when it comes to where you are from or what religion you are, so don’t do it to others. There’s a reported 33 million Christians in the U.K. that’s out of 55 million. So don’t call most of us Atheist, when we aren’t.
—H., age 21 (United Kingdom)
Negative—In response to H: I wasn’t trying to offend anybody, I just meant that the movie isn’t going to be Christian based, since this is a Christian Web site and most of the time we go into these movies thinking that there’s going to be moral values behind the story, then we find out that there’s not. I shouldn’t of said the UK is “full” of atheists, I apologize for that, that was wrong, but all I meant to say was that whenever Hollywood makes a movie about a touchy subject, like the world ending, God is never mentioned or referenced.

Plus when it comes to the actor Simon Pegg, the last movie he was in had an agnostic theme to it, I remember reading something like that in a review on this site. Again, I apologize for generalizing, but I honestly wasn’t trying to be offensive.
—T., age 20 (USA)

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