Tag Archives: Paddy Considine

The World’s End (2013) Movie Retro Review by Stephen McLaughlin

WORLDS END

Director: Edgar Wright
Writers: Simon Pegg,  Edgar Wright
Stars: Simon Pegg,  Nick Frost,  Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Eddie Marsan

“The World’s End” is about Five friends Gary King (Pegg), Andy Knightley (Frost, Oliver Chamberlain (Freeman), Steven Prince (Considine) and Peter Page (Marsan) who reunite (or tricked into reuniting by Gary) in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from twenty years earlier unwittingly become humanity’s only hope for survival.

“The World’s End” was the concluding film to the infamous “Corneto Trilogy”. On its release it had been 9 years since “Shaun of the Dead” and 6 years since “Hot Fuzz” and the audiences anticipation was high and I don’t mind admitting it, but at the time of watching this at the time I was a left a little underwhelmed. In fact, this review may have been a lot different if I was basing this on my first experience of watching this movie. I decided to go back and watch the movie this week and I have to say that my experience this time around was surprisingly enjoyable.

Whilst I’m admitting stuff here I confess of making the cardinal sin of “expecting” this part of the trilogy to top both “Shaun” and “Fuzz” and this is where my first time viewing destroyed my expectations. How could any Edgar Wright movie (at the time) top his previous two? What was I thinking? Anyway……..

“The Five Musketeers” head for Newton Haven, a small town where the five friends grew up, moved on and never gave the town a second thought. Well apart from Gary a a 40-year old man trapped in the mindset of his teenage years, who drags his reluctant four other friends to attempt to reach the pub, The World’s End. As they attempt to reconcile the past and present. Until a shocking truth is uncovered whilst Gary has a fight with a teenager in the toilets of one of the pubs. The five realise that there is more going on in their old stomping ground than they initially realised.

One of the things I enjoy about this movie is the parts both Pegg and Frost play. In “Shaun” both of them portrayed losers. In “Fuzz” Pegg portrays a career driven serious character up against Frost’s bumbling and slobbish PC Danny Butterman. In this movie Frost finally plays the straight man, the business man and to a point the sensible man up against Pegg’s gormless, immature and relentless Gary. When you back these characters up with the excellent supporting roles played by Freeman, Considine and Marsan you know the banter between them is going to be “a fried slice of gold”

The character’s are quite fleshed out early on and the script allows the audience to understand the insight to all five characters without the storyline being bogged down or losing its way. The other thing about Edgar Wright films is watching out for cameos throughout the movie that will always have been related to past projects by the director and it’s always nice to see that he is willing to use them and I assume the actors themselves are equally willing to appear no matter how brief their appearance may be.

With the movie being 4 years old now I will have divulge in some spoilers (so if you haven’t watched this movie yet it may be an idea to stop reading now) to allow my view and opinion on some of the scenes that may have to reveal certain aspects of the film.

I mentioned the toilet scene earlier and briefly. This scene to me is the Mark of a great director and again just like previously from Wright he can take any scenario and make it look like an action packed adrenaline rush sequence……yes even in the Gents loo. The fighting sequences and the reveal to me on first viewing was actually of shock when the teenagers Head was smashed against the urinal by Gary only for the head to explode and all this blue dye spraying everywhere. What had just happened?

What had just happened in fact was the key plot point. Personally I would have just have enjoyed a movie about these five guys on a pub crawl and that would have satisfied me to an extent but here we had a situation and more importantly a gamble by the writers (Wright and Pegg) on whether an invasion by blue dyed robots posing as regular people would go down well. Well did it? Well for me on first time viewing as I explored earlier although the initial reveal was surprising and shocking there was another hour of this movie to go and I was concerned that the storyline peaked too early.

Watching this again I realised that the script for the second half of the movie was as consistent as the first half and it was my expectation back in 2013 that soured my outlook on the movie initially and nothing else. “The World’s End” is a good movie. Not as great as “Shaun of the Dead” or as interesting as “Hot Fuzz” but still strong enough with a great cast having a good script. The Direction for the movie was always going to carry it regardless and with a 1990’s “indie” soundtrack, audiences of a certain age (my age) will enjoy reliving their youth (much as Gary King did in this film) “The World’s End” was always going to be up against it billing it as part of that trilogy and perhaps that affected it slightly with its expectations. If you haven’t watched it yet I recommend you do, just don’t go into it the way I did back in 2013. Instead, do what I did last week and just enjoy a two hour film that will make you laugh.

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Dead Man’s Shoes (2004) Movie Retro Review by John Walsh

DEAD MANS SHOES

Director: Shane Meadows
Writers: Paddy Considine, Shane Meadows
Stars: Paddy Considine,  Gary Stretch, Toby Kebbell

Having recently rewatched a film that I’d honestly rank in my all-time top twenty, I now feel the need to try and spread the word about this British, indie, cult classic which sadly has never gotten the love it deserves. The film I’m talking about is 2004’s Dead Mans Shoes. Directed by Shane Meadows, a man that’s more famous for his ‘This is England’ films. It doesn’t feature an all star cast or even a traditional A-list lead actor, but don’t let this dissuade you any, because it has an engrossingly, simple, little story that never grows old even after a dozen viewings.

It focuses almost entirely on Richard (Paddy Considine), a disaffected soldier who upon returning to his hometown, discovers that his younger, disabled brother Anthony (Toby Kebbell) has been on the receiving end of bullying from a manipulative group of goons. Made up of petty criminals and drug peddlers, and led by the wannabe gangster Sonny (Gary Stretch), they are borderline untouchable within their local community and almost completely unaware of the pain about to be inflicted upon them. The first time we see Richard is when he turns up at an apartment block dressed in an army boiler suit and full blown gas mask to terrorise three of the gang members in the midst of a cocaine fuelled get together. He somehow manages to get inside the building before nicking a bag full of drugs in the confusion that ensues before disappearing without a trace.

And when he has a tense war of words at a local pub with Herbie (Stuart Wofenden), the man spooked from the night before, it doesn’t take long for the latter to put two and two together and pass on his concerning realisation that Richard is the man terrorising them. What follows is perhaps one of my favourite scenes in a film period. At some point during the night, Richard clearly breaks into several of the groups houses, painting Sonny’s face in the style of a clown and also spray painting insults on two of the elder members jackets. This leads to a hilarious altercation after they all converge upon the latter’s house, learning of their joint misfortune and then being told the unsettling news of their soon to be nemesis’ return. The sight of six grown men, packed into a tiny car pulling up to a semi-deserted street where Richard stands alone, with his brother watching from afar, has to be seen to be believed.

The discussion that follows is both brutal in its honesty, humorous for Richards laid back, frank, delivery and also absolutely pivotal in the story. It proves to be the turning point from what is a fairly slowish start and kicks off a systematic culling of the group. Sonny, trying to appear calm, collected and in control, is left in no doubt whatsoever that he is completely out of his depth. This is all but confirmed shortly afterwards when one of his goons is brutally murdered with an axe right under his and the others noses. They try to hit back immediately, of course, in a brief moment of misplaced bravery. But only manage to accidentally shoot the other elderly chap in the head, in a failed attempt at a trap, whilst an unflinching Richard calmly approaches them with an axe.

Despite the full horrors of what actually happened to Anthony being laid bare via a fairly slow trickle of flashbacks scenes, darted throughout the film, you never really find yourself questioning the morality of the increasingly brutal murders that take place at the hands of Richard. He’s something of an anti-hero, admittedly, but I was rooting for him to take out the Sonny led gang and even laughed at the manner of one particular death. Thankfully Meadows rewards the audience for this unflinching loyalty when the actual extent of the abuse that took place is properly revealed towards the very end of the film. There’s a truly shocking and heart wrenching twist at this moment  too which I dare not spoil because I honestly rate it up there with the Sixth Sense in terms of how good it is and the effect it has. It should be experienced first hand to really be appreciated. Needless to say, Sonny’s inevitable downfall is both poetic and memorable.

Paddy Considine delivers a stellar performance as the vengeful Richard. Having seen him in several films since, I would rate this as his best performance. He brought real emotion to the character and he’s one of the primary reasons I enjoy this film so much. Toby Kebbell has went on to be a fine actor, and watching this, it’s really no surprise. If you were to have told me that he was genuinely suffering from a disability, then I would have believed you, such is the standard of his performance. Just about everyone in this film is perfectly cast and there’s a real strong ensemble performance with no real notable poor exceptions springing to mind. Ex-professional boxer, Gary Stretch, in particular does very well as Sonny, the main villain of sorts.

I really can’t recommend this film enough. It has such a well written story, that manages to perfectly combine humour, sadness and sheer bloody violence. The soundtrack is incredible too and well worth a listen. If you haven’t seen this film then do yourself a favour and get it watched.