I’m not one of those Anglophiles who think the Brits do everything better than we do. (Hello, can you say. . .dental care? And beer is supposed to be cold, people!) But I will say this, they know their way around comedy. Very specifically, Brits know how to do low-brow humor that is secretly smart—very smart.
To illustrate this point, you don’t have to look any farther than the films of Edgar Wright, who gave us Shaun of the Dead (a smart send up of zombie tropes), Hot Fuzz (a smart send up of cop movie tropes) and now the ingenuous The World’s End (a smart send up of. . .well, several genres at once).
At first blush, The World’s End seems a bit like a slightly more thoughtful version of The Hangover.
Gary (Wright’s longtime writing partner and leading man Simon Pegg) was the cool guy in the London suburbs where he grew up. He and his four best mates (this is a British film, I’m authorized to use the word mate) ruled the campus and once even attempted the famed Golden Mile—12 pubs all situated along a one-mile route, ideal for high-endurance bar-hopping. (The name of the final pub on the route? You guessed it: The World’s End. ) They didn’t...