The World’s End film review

PUBLISHED: 10:27 11 July 2013 | UPDATED: 15:29 11 July 2013

The boys are back in town: Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Eddie Marsan in a scene from The World's End, which was filmed in Welwyn Garden City

The boys are back in town: Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Eddie Marsan in a scene from The World's End, which was filmed in Welwyn Garden City


THE premiere of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s new comedy The World’s End took place in London last night (Wednesday). Film critic Jo Berry reviews the movie, which was partly filmed in Welwyn Garden City.

The World’s End pub crawl

* The First Post

* The Old Familiar

* The Famous Cock

* The Cross Hands

* The Good Companions

* The Trusty Servant

* The Two Headed Dog

* The Mermaid

* The Beehive

* The King’s Head

* The Hole in the Wall

* The World’s End

WELWYN Garden City – or some of its pubs, at least – gets a starring role in the new comedy from writer/director Edgar Wright and writer/star Simon Pegg, who have previously teamed up for the hits Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz.

Having tackled horror and action in those movies, this time the boys mix comedy with science fiction as annoying legend-in-his-own-mind Gary (Pegg, deliciously dumping his lovable persona for a truly grating one) gathers up his reluctant old school friends (Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman) to return to their home town of Newton Haven and complete a pub crawl through the town’s 12 establishments that they first attempted as teenagers.

Simon Pegg with map of Newton Haven pub crawlSimon Pegg with map of Newton Haven pub crawl

Sounds simple, but the boys haven’t counted on the town’s residents not being quite what they seem.

After a surprisingly slow start as Gary gathers up his former pals and they set off in his beat-up Ford Granada to Newton Haven, things pick up as the pub crawl begins.

Old rivalries resurface and Wright and Pegg pack in some fun movie references, great lines (listen out for “we’ll always have the disableds” as it is a 21st century version of “you had me at hello”), recurring gags and nods to their previous movies (this is known as the third and final instalment of the duo’s ‘Cornetto’ trilogy, and fans will know why).

It then gets pretty bonkers all round, which may put off viewers wanting a more traditional movie, but will entertain those wanting something more whimsical, quirky, and downright mental that’s simply too odd and novel to be revealed here.

So what of Welwyn Garden City’s starring role?

Many of the early scenes in fictional Newton Haven are set here, as the group plan their crawl while walking down Howardsgate (Superdrug, Costcutter and the late Blockbuster are easy to spot) and through the John Lewis car park.

The first pubs on their list are the Welwyn Garden ones, too, including The Old Familiar (The Doctors Tonic), The Famous Cock (The Cork) and The Cross Hands (Parkway Bar) – although mainly the exteriors, as interiors were often filmed on specially built sets.

And while it is a little disappointing that most of the movie’s later action and sci-fi scenes were filmed on sets or in Letchworth (boo!), once you’ve seen the movie there is some fun to be had in wondering just what it was about the town centre that so appealed to Wright and Pegg when they were looking for an average town to film in that hides some very strange secrets...

The World’s End opens in the UK on 19 July.

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