Last night I saw The World's End at SDCC, and it was introduced by Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who also stuck around for a Q&A afterward. The screening started a bit late because, according to Pegg, "Traffic was fucking awful. It took us forty minutes to get from the Hard Rock Hotel." Wright added, "That's the last time we take a pedicab!"
They apologized to the fans, many of whom had been standing in line for something like ten hours to gain admittance to the screening. Pegg high-fived everyone he could reach and then actually stayed to watch the movie with us, because "You're just such a lovely crowd." I know it's a little thing, but having been to a bunch of these screenings, I can tell you it's pretty rare. He sat right behind me and laughed at all of the jokes.
So what did I think of the movie? I liked it a whole lot. It's hilarious and completely unhinged. It goes off the rails in the most dramatic of ways. It's a huge, messy blast, not as tight as Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz but far more ambitious. Somehow, before watching, I'd never thought of the basic result inherent in this premise, that when shit goes down in a big way, we get to watch our heroes try to deal with it blitzed out of their minds. I loved that. Frost and Pegg are both fantastic in their less likely roles, and while it took a little time to settle into its own singular tone, once it does, it's very rewarding. And the fight sequences are AMAZING.
I can't repeat too much of the Q&A here because I don't want to spoil any of the surprises from the film, so here are a few tidbits that I believe I can safely reveal without ruining any of the fun:
* Pegg, on the theme of the movie: "It's our basic human right to fuck up."
* Wright, on the meaning of the Cornetto wrappers' colors in each film: Shaun's was strawberry red to fit the color scheme and the blood of that film; Fuzz's was blue (original flavor) because they're the police; The World's End was green (mint) to fit the sci-fi color palette of the film.
* Pegg, on what an unlikable mess his character, Gary King, can be: "I tried to remember that under it all, Gary's just incredibly sad. He's such a tragedy. I thought about that all the time, because if I loved him, then I hoped the audience could too. Even though he's a bit of a twat."
* Budweiser balked at product placement in the movie, saying "We're uncomfortable with the level of drunkenness in this film." Pegg countered, "That's only because you can't get that drunk on Budweiser."
* Bill Paxton was in the house, which ended up being a big coincidence because of a quick Aliens gag in the movie. Everyone was pretty thrilled with the synchronism. Pegg tweeted: "Highlight of the night, sitting next to Bill Paxton, watching The World's End and patting him on the arm when @nickjfrost mentions Aliens."
* On those fight sequences, choreographed by Brad Allen who also did Scott Pilgrim, Kick-Ass, Pacific Rim, many of Jackie Chan's films (and recommended to Wright by Guillermo del Toro), Wright said the characters fight with a mix of rugby movies and old Wrestlemania moves they might remember from their youth. Pegg: "It's pub-fu!"