Review: The end is nigh (but you'll laugh till you cry) in 'The World's End'

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If the sci-fi comedy "The World's End" is any indication of what the apocalypse is going to be like, then it's clear that the hilarious acting duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, along director Edgar Wright, are going to go out with a bang -- and a serious bender -- when the end is nigh.

The third film in a thematic trilogy about friendship and camaraderie after "Shaun of the Dead" and "Hot Fuzz," "The World's End" follows five friends' second attempt at an epic pub crawl through 12 English brew houses in their hometown, which they initially failed to conquer 20 years earlier. Leading them is the over-grown party animal Gary (Pegg) and the bookish Andy (Frost) -- in a complete reversal of roles the duo played in "Shaun" -- and the combustible coupling proves to be a recipe for disaster.

See the trailer for "The World's End" below.

Instead of the zombie-filled "Shaun" and cultists of "Hot Fuzz," Pegg's and Frost's characters face a new, formidable force who take over their town in "The World's End." Without giving too much of the film's wonderfully original plot away, let's just say their old surroundings suddenly feel alien to the group of buddies, and The World's End -- the name of the last pub in the crawl -- may also truly be the end of the line.

Interview: "The World's End" stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost

Like "Shaun" and "Hot Fuzz," "The World's End" is co-written by Pegg and Wright, and like its predecessors, it's whip-smart comedy from beginning to end. Swiftly directed by Wright, the film is loaded with too many laughs to count, and better yet, it has some wickedly original plot turns -- and a nice bit of poignancy -- that you won't see coming. It's a real hoot.

"The World's End," rated R, 3 1/2 stars out of four.

What other local critics are saying ...

Chris Hewitt of the Pioneer Press calls "The World's End" the "funniest comedy of the summer" in his 3 1/2 star review.

Colin Covert gives the film 4 stars in his Star Tribune review, calling it a "collaboration is a wild mix of dark hilarity and daredevil thrills, and a bull’s-eye on every level."

Bring Me The News film critic Tim Lammers is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and annually votes on the Critics Choice Movie Awards. Locally, he also reviews films on “KARE 11 News at 11.” As a feature writer, Tim has interviewed well over 1,000 major actors and filmmakers throughout his career and his work is syndicated nationwide.

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