I own around 6 DVDs and Shaun of the Dead is one of them. It’s gone down on my list as a classic apocalyptic comedy from the makers of Spaced (cheer here) Simon Peg and Nick Frost. Then came the likes of Hot Fuzz and Paul, both of which I never quite saw eye to eye with. They were entertaining, but lacked that spark that makes me want to watch again and again. Their latest venture slots neatly beside their more recent work; it’s entertaining, there are some good comedic lines, but it feels like there is little substance.
I suppose substance is wanting from many of the ‘end-of-world’ movies. So caught up with running away and bashing everything over the head, there is little time for character development and engaging the audience on an emotional level, rather than just the basic blood thirsty one.
Pegs Character, Gary King, is an alcoholic waster who drags his five school chums on the pub crawl they were unable to finish some twenty years ago, hoping to rekindle his sense of invincibility and hopefulness he felt on his last day of school. The plot takes a twist when the first fight scene ensues and rather than humans, their opponents are blue-blooded robots. As the pub crawl continues we discover, along with our pub crawlers, that the majority of the town have been genetically copied and are now non-human. Rather than fleeing, the troubled Gary King insists they continue with the crawl to the final pub The Worlds End, and so the chasing, beating and general dismemberment commences.
The final scenes at The World End are entirely expected, a conversation with the alien which results in them leaving Earth to its fate. Refreshingly, the Earths fate isn’t all green and smelling of roses, as is explained is Frosts final monologue.
The plot, characters and setting are not entirely unoriginal, but cannot be described as ground breaking. Many of the plot ‘twists’ are expected, and although the film is well written, the gags are more amusing than full-blown stomach churning hilarity. If you’re expecting something new and exciting then don’t, this movie is Shaun of the Dead packaged in a new wrapping with a different coloured bow. It’s entertaining, but that’s about as far as it goes.
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