This will most likely be the most difficult thing I’ve ever written. Let me be totally clear – this is one of the best movies I’ve ever laid eyeballs upon. I was literally sore after watching it because I was either tense from having my mind blown or laughing hysterically throughout the entire movie. When I first heard that the finale of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy – the first two installments being Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz – was finally in theaters, I took a brief gander at the synopsis, nodded subconsciously to the label of “apocalyptic comedy” and took off, not knowing exactly what I was in for. Aside from, you know, the guarantee of something great.
The movie starts off with a classic reclamation of youth plot, with Simon Pegg’s crusty Gary King character getting his aging friends back together for another attempt at a pub crawl they failed to complete when they were in their early 20s. This goes on for a while, and although it reeked of cliché, it came off as rather original. Frankly, that could have been the entire movie and it would have been great. Around the 30-minute mark or so, I thought to myself, “Where the hell is the science fiction?” Maybe I read something wrong.
Next thing you know, Gary King is in a bathroom having a bit of an emotional moment and lands himself in the middle of an altercation with a snotty young pubrat. All is well, until the young guy starts using some haphazard kung fu and King winds up giving him an epic choke slam into a urinal… and his head comes off. Decapitation. Blue blood all over the place. What. The. Hell. Or, as Martin Freeman’s character often says, “Double-yoo, Tee, Eff?!” Absolutely unexpected. I just about had to get up, go outside and take a breather.
So the entire movie turns on its head and becomes a fight for survival against genetic robot clone… things, peppered with some hilariously choreographed fight scenes. Somehow this insane change is executed seamlessly. And there’s even a secondary change towards the ending that’s done nearly as well.
It’s probably obvious at this point that I believe this is a classic, and the best of the series. While that’s true, I’m not ignoring the fact that Shaun of the Dead did all the heavy lifting. Both Pegg and Nick Frost have grown as actors, with Frost really coming into his own in this film, expertly portraying what could be seen as the most complex of the characters. I look forward to seeing what they’re going to do next more than ever, and to put this as lightly as possible – you’re a fool if you don’t rush out and see this movie.
By Johnny Beaver