A great trilogy of unrelated but similar films, connected by director, actors and themes (and also ice creams!). They might not be a trilogy in the most standard sense, but these three films are all really great!
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
The zombie apocalypse is here! So what do you do? Well, best buddies Simon Pegg and Nick Frost decide to gather up their loved ones and head to the local pub to wait for the whole thing to blow over. Pegg and Frost are both great, Pegg as the man trying to get his life together to win back his girlfriend and Frost as the slacker who just wants to not do anything. The whole movie is hilarious, with so many good jokes thrown in amongst the relative horror of zombies goring people to death. The rest of the cast are also great and there’s some awesome recurring jokes throughout.
Edgar Wright’s directing style is born here, using quick cuts and close up shots. There’s a great long take where Pegg walks all the way to a shop and back through the partially destroyed streets without noticing the zombie-induced carnage around him. Everything is really great and it manages to still get in some quite emotional character moments in amongst all the jokes and the horror. A great love letter to zombie movies ends up being one of the best zombie movies ever!
JACK’S SCORE: 5/5
Hot Fuzz (2007)
The team returns, this time for a love letter to buddy cop action movies. Pegg is the big city cop moving to a small village and partnering up with the inept Frost to tackle a series of murders. It’s got some great references to some past action movies and some even greater comedy stuff. Jim Broadbent is great as the police chief and Timothy Dalton is perfect as the potentially evil supermarket owner. The murder mystery aspect to this film is really intriguing and has a few good twists and turns along the way.
But this is an action film, so what’s the action like? Well, it’s pretty good! It has the right mix of action stunts and comedy to keep it entertaining throughout. It’s all really enjoyable and really satisfying.
JACK’S SCORE: 4/5
The World’s End (2013)
This time round, Pegg is Gary King, a man who hasn’t grown up and still dreams of completing a legendary pub crawl with his best mates. He reunites them, much to their annoyance, and they give the crawl another go. Only, this time, they discover a secret alien/robot invasion taking place right under their noses and soon it becomes a fight for survival! It’s a wonderfully ridiculous premise and I love it. There’s so many good jokes and some good action scenes too. The cast are all great. Pegg and Frost do well with their slightly more antagonistic relationship, and Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine and Eddie Marsan are all really funny as the tag along pals.
But one of the strengths of this film is in the relationships between the characters, the history they have and the themes being addressed. It’s about growing up, but still holding on to what makes you who you are. Wright really knows how to deliver some great character moments and you really feel for each of them. It’s all very believable (apart from the robots) and it’s all massively enjoyable.
JACK’S SCORE: 4/5