The World's End is a British science-fiction comedy released in the summer of 2013, directed and written by Edgar Wright, co-written and starring Simon Pegg, and co-starring Nick Frost, Paddy Considine, Martin Freeman, Eddie Marsan and Rosamund Pike.The movie tells the story of Gary King, a Man Child who decides to reunite his old gang of friends after losing touch 20 years ago. They've all got perfectly normal lives now, whereas Gary is still walking around in the same awful clothes, wearing the same pitch black sunglasses and spouting the same old nonsense. Recalling the "Golden Mile" pub crawl they failed in their teens, Gary convinces them to return to their childhood village of Newton Haven, determined to finally do a complete run.Things start out slow with the crawl, with everyone tired by Gary's antics right from the get-go. The guys make an effort to catch up with each other, enjoy the evening and get a bit of Character Development in while they're at it, but their hearts just aren't in it. And then, just as they're about to call it a day, something seems... offabout the pubs. Really off. Really off. Cue things escalating, and the group soon has to wrestle with decidedly more than they bargained for, in addition to Gary's unwavering determination to finish the Golden Mile.This is the final installment of the "Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy", preceded by Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, all of which were directed by Edgar Wright and starred Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Compare This Is the End.Watch the first trailer here and the full trailer here.Not to be confused with At World's End.
This film contains examples of:
Accidental Innuendo: invoked Gary loves these. When the Network talks about "penetration points", Gary giggles and makes a "fucking pussy" gesture with his fingers with a whistle.
Acrofatic: Andy kicks more ass than any other character in the movie.
Answer Cut: Oliver asks Steve and Peter if they'd figured out who the biggest loser was for letting Gary convince them to do the pub crawl again - at that moment, Andy is revealed, having just arrived at the depot.
Apocalypse How: A low level Class II - humanity is knocked back to pre-industrial levels but the bulk of the population apparently survives and there seems no danger of actual extinction. In fact most of the surviving characters are shown to prefer the new way of life.
Arc Number: Edgar Wright has stated that he did his best to include the 'number' of each pub (according to where it appears on The Golden Mile) somewhere in its scene (he did something similar with the Evil Exes in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World). These can usually be spotted on the chalkboards/signs or table numbers. For example, a table behind Mr Shepherd in pub #9 The Beehive shows a place-card with a 9 on it. See a collage here.
Badass Longcoat: Invoked by Gary, who wears a long black coat to try and appear cool. In his final appearance after the apocalypse, it actually does look pretty cool.
Bar Brawl: Obligatory. Plus, the main characters get better fighters as they get more sloshed.
Beneath the Mask: One of the movie's themes is that of adults hiding their insecurities and neuroses behind professional success / money / houses / etc. Then there's Gary, whose facade of cheer and energy starts crumbling at the second or third pub.
Berserk Button: A subtle, downplayed example. When Gary is trying to convince Andy to join him on The Golden Mile, notice how Andy finally forces him out only after making a reference to his wife. As in, the wife that's just left him.
Bittersweet Ending: The Network has left Earth, but in the process the planet is knocked back to the Dark Ages. Peter and Oliver are both dead and replaced by Blanks, while Gary resorts to Walking the Earth and Andy hasn't seen him since. And Gary still didn't finish the crawl, due to the entire village of Newton Haven being destroyed. However, Andy points out that his previously rocky marriage is back on track, and Steven and Sam are living rather happily in a "shack" just outside London. And Gary appears to have conquered his alcoholism.
At the crawl's beginning, Gary chides Andy for ordering water, uttering the nonsensical statement, "Did King Arthur order water after the Battle of Hastings?" - to which Andy replies that ordering water in a pub full of rugby lads takes balls. At the end of the film, Gary (a King), following a battle against the Network, orders five waters in a post-apocalyptic pub full of skin-headed, armed, rugby lads.
"Look at the town in it's original colours, cos tonight we're gonna paint it red!" At the end of the film, Newton Haven is engulfed by a giant, red fireball.
Gary's first attempt at the pub crawl ends with him sitting on a hill overlooking Newton Haven as the sun rises. Gary's second attempt has him sitting on the same hill overlooking a destroyed Newton Haven. The first bar he visits during the epilogue? The Rising Sun.
The film begins with Gary telling the story of the first pub crawl to a support group. It ends with Andy telling the story of the second pub crawl to a group of kids.
Andy rips open his cardigan before a serious bar fight, mirroring when he ripped open his shirt as a youth.
Oliver is showing the same house in the same neighborhood to the same couple as the beginning of the film.
Gary tells The Network "To err is human". At the conclusion, the full idiom is spray painted, "To err is human, to forgive, divine."
California Doubling: Many real pubs are used as stand-ins for the film's fictional ones, with the World's End itself portrayed by the Gardener's Arms in Letchworth. (However, other "pubs" in the film are actually a cinema, a railway station and a Thai restaurant, among others.)
Also, the "UK's First Roundabout" in the film really is that, in Letchworth.
After Timothy Dalton's turn in Hot Fuzz, Pierce Brosnan turns up playing a similar character to Dalton's - Brosnan succeeded Dalton as James Bond.
Eddie Marsan & Martin Freeman both play characters in different adapatations of Sherlock Holmes - Marsan is Lestrade in the Robert Downey Jr. films & Freeman plays Watson in Sherlock. Furthering this, is Marsan & Freeman's characters in this film being the only two main characters replaced by Blanks.
Also, Freeman played BilboBaggins after Ian Holm, who in Alien is an android, just like Freeman becomes a Blank.
The Can Kicked Him: Gary first encounters the Blanks in the toilets at the fourth pub, and is nearly taken down. A couple of pubs later, Oliver is replaced by a Blank when he unwisely goes to the toilets by himself.
Gary: What the fuck does WTF stand for?! Peter:[barges out of toilet] What the fuck?! Gary:Oh yeah...
Sam has one too.
Sam: Oh, crumbs!
Catholic School Girls Rule: Friday nights at The Mermaid are called "School Night". All the girls dress like this; the boys dress like Catholic school boys, too. Even Basil gets in on the act, dressed as a professor in cap-and-gown. Apparently this was all the Network needed to do to get DNA from Peter, Andrew and Gary.
Chandelier Swing: Gary in The Beehive fight to take down Blank Oliver. Complete with slo-mo.
Chekhov's Gag: Early in the film when Oliver is on the phone with his sister Sam he teasingly asks "You get lost on the ring road again?". Much later in the film she says she came back for Gary, Andy and Steven because she got lost on the ring road.
The shooting star at the end of Gary's flashback, later revealed by Basil to have been the alien ship's arrival.
The "Out of Order" sign from the disabled toilet at The Old Familiar, which Sam gives to Gary as a jibe, later comes in handy when the guys need to make sure no-one goes into the mens' toilet at The Cross Hands and finds the five teenage Blanks they just destroyed in there.
Also the... ugh... slippery toilet floor. It comes in handy for Oliver in the first fight.
The metallic statue in the middle of the town.
Gary won't show his elbow scar to prove he's human, but willingly shows an intimate tattoo. When his sleeve later turns up accidentally, Andy notices he is wearing bandages on his wrists and has a hospital wristband, revealing he has recently attempted suicide.
Gary is also introduced with having some basic Le Parkour skills. They come in handy later.
Sufficiently Advanced Alien: The Blanks/The Network have technology beyond the scope of modern humanity, capable of interstellar travel and creating near-perfect robot duplicates of humans with seemingly unlimited stamina and the ability to function even when extremely heavily damaged. However, when said robots are damaged, it's revealed that they are hollow on the inside, with no circuits or machinery of any kind (even if they make mechanical whirring noises as they move around); just a strange blue ink that coats the inside of their hollow plastic bodies. Furthermore, their limbs and heads are held together by joints similar to action figures, which begs the question as to how the Blanks are capable of eating and drinking as they do in the film. Even the giant robot statue that comes to life halfway through the film seems magical in nature, having sleek, solid metal limbs with no visible joints. The only conclusion one can draw from all this is that the Network's technology is just so much more advanced that ours that to us it appears nonsensical.
Cloud Cuckoo Lander: All of the main characters at various points in the film; justified in that they have all had far too much to drink as the film progresses. However, Gary stands out the most.
Les Collaborateurs: The 'Reverend Green' and two others in the Trusty Servant have decided to live in accord with the Network's plan rather than be replaced. They turn out to be the only three who have, apart from Basil.
Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Blanks, and anything associated with them, have a dominant blue and green coloration. Oliver and Peter are wearing blue. They are replaced by Blanks over the course of the movie. Sam and Steven also wear red, so as to show they will become a couple at the end.
After first discovering the robots, Andy is more concerned with the fact Gary lied about his mother dying rather than Gary accidentally killing a teenager who is actually a robot.
At the end of the film, Gary triumphantly declares "There's only one Gary King!" after ripping the head off the Network's teenage duplicate of him. Later, when he points out that the Network's plan is flawed because humanity is filled with people like him, the confused Network points out that he just said there was only one Gary King.
Gary: I know what the fuck I fucking said!
Conservation of Ninjutsu: Gary barely takes out a single Blank, though he is utterly confused by the fight. The whole group is in similar straits against an gang of equal size. As the film continues, they take on progressively larger hordes with increasing effectiveness.
The Conspiracy: The Network, an extraterrestrial intelligence/society, has been guiding human culture and technological development since the late '80s/early '90s. Related to this, it has spread the ideals of polite manners, civic mindedness and community through corporate culture, homogenized commercial branding and replacing people who revolt with inhuman "robots" hosting people's memories. The dissenters are recycled as fertilizer.
Corpsing: Andy (Nick Frost) when Gary tells the Network, "Why don't you just get back in your rocket and fuck off back to Lego Land, you cunts!"
Cozy Catastrophe: The ending. Sure, it's pretty much the end of the world, but the survivors manage to eke out some happiness for themselves.
Cranial Processing Unit: Averted. Blanks can lose a head with little problem, their torsos seem to be their weak point. Further proven when Andy smashes Blank!Oliver's head, which is completely hollow space and Oliver can still talk. Andy later destroys the Blank!redhead schoolgirl with a body blow to the guts.
Creepy Twins: Discussed Trope, as Gary seems to think just being a twin is creepy.note Not enough to prevent him from having a Twin Threesome with them in the past. Then it becomes true when they are revealed to be Blanks.
Darker and Edgier: Than either Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz. This is in part owing to all the deconstruction of the tropes that were shown as funny in the previous two films, with very significant rifts, backstories that were significantly darker such as Peter being horribly bullied, and a lead character that is outright suicidal. Additionally, the ending is pretty dark in comparison to either of the two films.
Despite this, Wright and Pegg have tentatively called it the happiest ending of the three films, because all of the principals technically get what they want in life, even though some of them are Blanks.
Deconstruction: Gary can be read as a deconstruction of the typical 'Man Child' characters who populated the other works that Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright and Nick Frost were involved in. His hedonistic embracing of alcohol and drugs and his refusal to move on from his teenage pursuits and obsessions is seen as more pathetic than charming. He's also significantly older than most of them were, being an example of what happens to that type of character if he maintains his refusal to grow up when he's almost in his forties. It is also a deconstruction of the notion of a man born into a civilized world, who is better suited for a more barbaric one. (E.g., Marv from Sin City or Esau Cairn from Almuric.) Gary is much happier as a sword-wielding hero in the World After The End, but whereas in the above examples the man is a thug in the real world, in this movie it's shown that he's just a loser.
Do You Want to Copulate?: Gary is straight forward with Sam about this in the bathroom ... and gets punched for his indecency.
Does This Remind You of Anything?: Some reviews noted that people who return to their home from the big city expect their hometown to treat them like prodigal sons, and are disappointed when the people barely - if at all - remember them. According to one reviewer, it's actually a relief to King that the reason no one recognizes him isn't because he just wasn't that important - no, they'd been replaced by robots!
There's also a parallel to people going to their 20th or 25th high school reunion having done nothing with their lives.
Double Meaning Title: The World's End refers to both the eponymous pub at the end of the Golden Mile and the actual end of civilisation as we know it through the complete destruction of modern technology.
Dropped a Bridge on Him: Oliver disappears to use the bathroom and is replaced by a Blank without any indication other than his change in behavior.
Drunken Master: The more wasted the protagonists get, the better they get at fighting. In Wright's words:
"This is more the idea of Dutch courage. You know, when you're kind of drunk and you think 'ah, I can climb up that scaffolding!' Or just that you're impervious to pain. One of the things we talked about is this idea that [the characters] become better fighters the more oiled they get."
Dwindling Party: The gang lose Oliver to the Blanks before they fully know what's going on, then Sam flees the town, then Peter is mobbed by the Blanks, then Steven is abandoned with "The Beast". Steven and Sam come back; Oliver, Peter and "The Beast" stay dead.
Earn Your Happy Ending: In the words of Edgar Wright, "the idea at the ending is that in a strange way everybody gets exactly what they want although it took a mess to get that".
The End of the World as We Know It: As you might have guessed from the title. It may be a bit misleading, however. The threat isn't the end of society, it's the nature of society itself - the Class II apocalypse is caused by the heroes when they reject the influence of the Network. This is a good thing, if a tad bittersweet.
E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: The Network infiltrated society for our own good to help us make advanced technological discoveries which would otherwise have been decades or even centuries away and therefore prepare us for life in a bigger galactic community. Unfortunately, when humanity didn't want their help they took their ball home on a massive scale.
The Fellowship Has Ended: The main characters rediscover their friendship, but return to a semblance of their old lives after the events of the movie, with none of them hearing from Gary again.
Fingerless Gloves: Gary wears sleeves over his hands that keep his fingers bare to achieve this effect, as part of his adolescent concept of what looks badass. As an adult, they also serve to help hide the wrist bandages from his suicide attempt.
Flipping the Bird: Blank!Oliver does this, indicating they're no longer attached to The Network, and free to be as crude as any human. It's foreshadowed by young Oliver flipping it when his friends are razzing him.
Andy's scar on his middle finger allows him to flip the bird at Gary while proving he's not a Blank.
Gary's description of the original Golden Mile at the very beginning is an almost point-for-point description of the events of the film. Specific details:
Oliver was the first one to fall on the original attempt at the Golden Mile, followed by Peter. They're the only two replaced by Blanks in the second attempt, and in the same order.
Gary mentions that Sam hung around but then they had to let her go. Sam joins the group, but later, Gary tells her to leave for safety. Unlike the flashback, however, she returns.
Things got "mental" for Gary and the remaining chums at the Beehive. The same things happen at the present day Beehive.
The shooting star shown in the sky after the first, failed pub crawl, as teen Gary watches the sunrise? That's important.
Gary in his flashback says that teenaged himself watched the red glow over Newton Haven. So does adult Gary.
Gary tells Oliver he needs to have an appointment with Dr. Ink ("drink", geddit?) However, later, they all have ink on their hands.
During the prologue, Gary says that Oliver was all mouth. At the end of the film he is that, pretty much literally, with a football replacing the top part of his head.
When we first see adult Peter (sitting at his kitchen table with his family), he hides his face behind a newspaper where the headline reads "New Survey Suggests Happier Britain", which foreshadows the Network and its aims.
Throughout the movie you can hear some GSM-interference-like noises blended into the film's score. This foreshadows the true nature of the alien invaders.
Gary explains that The Beast is the same car he bought in 1989, despite the fact that he had to replace almost all its parts, to the point that it's essentially a different car. This is similar to what The Network is doing; converting the people in Newton Haven that it deemed unruly (all but three of them) to the point that it's essentially a different town.
When Gary first arrives to pick the guys up in The Beast, a Vauxhall Ampera can be seen on a billboard/hoarding in the background. Another poster similar to this one is seen behind Oliver in the service station a scene or so later. All the parked cars in Newton Haven are green or blue Vauxhall Amperas.
When the gang arrived at the first pub, Oliver commented that the nationwide initiative robs charming pubs of any discernible character. This is what The Network does to humans.
On their way to The Cross Hands, the gang talked about food, and Oliver commented that Newton Haven is hardly the heart of the organic revolution. In the end, Gary, an organic being, revolted against The Network. Also, after the apocalypse, people started eating organic food. So, Newton Haven actually is the heart of the Organic Revolution, in more ways than one.
Gary telling the rest of the guys as they arrive in Newton Haven to, "get a good look at colors" as "they're going to paint the town red." Later on, the establishing shot of Newton Haven is mirrored, with the town glowing red. After all, it's on fire.
Despite having been slurring his words earlier on, Oliver (the first one to fall in the original attempt at the Golden Mile) remains perfectly sober, hinting at his being replaced early on.
Peter states after The Mermaid that he doesn't want to end up "dead in a field... I hate fields!". He is later attacked by Blanks in a field/forest the gang are running through after hiding out in the bowls club shed.
Oliver and Peter being the only two of the five wearing blue on their upper body: a blue suit for Oliver and a blue jacket and jumper for Peter.
Gary seems surprisingly knowledgeable about the psychology of depression when he tells Pete not to repress his bad memories. It's later revealed that he'd been attending grief counselling after a failed suicide attempt, explaining where he picked this titbit up.
When trying to prove that they aren't Blanks, the guys deduce that Blanks are "fresh", lacking any physical abnormalities (tattoos, scars, etc). Andy, Steven, and Peter all present scars they got courtesy of Gary, but Gary balks at having to remove his jacket and instead opts to bash his head against a support beam to disprove being Made of Plasticine. This is because he doesn't want the others to see the bandages around his wrists.
In The Old Familiar, you can posters reading "School Disco". What is going on at pub number eight, The Mermaid?
Gary mentions Adrian Keane in the same pub. He also turns up at The Mermaid.
The conversation between Gary and Andy concerning teetotalling. Gary says that King Arthur didn't drink water at Camelot after winning the Battle of Hastings. Andy counters that to go into a pub full of hard men with war paint and order a tap water takes serious balls. In the end, a King walks into a bar in the wake of a great battle, and orders a water when surrounded by hard men with war paint. He has some serious balls.
The page quotation itself (see above) foreshadows the end of the movie.
This is also a way of summing up the film's climax. Even after considering the whole of the Network's advances in our technology, among other, more arguable boons, they still hold that it's not worth sacrificing humanity's God-given right to be a race of fuck-ups.
Humans Are Bastards: The Network certainly seems to think so. It responds by basically replacing the ones that refuse to adhere to its standards with robots.
Humans Are Flawed/Humans Are Special: Deconstructed. It turns out that humanity is the least civilised species in the galaxy, and the Network is trying to bring it to a level where it could be brought into the galactic community. However, to do so they have to remove anyone who doesn't want to be part of the Network; and because humanity doesn't like being told what to do, the Network need to replace a lot of people in an attempt to make them more acceptable to the galactic community. Arguably, the point of Gary, Andrew, and Steven's rebuttal is that "Humans are special because they are flawed", specifically asking the Network how many humans it had to replace (only three people in Newton Haven haven't been replaced - and one of them wasn't because he avoided having his DNA sampled for decades), and stating that replacing them all with robots defeats the purpose of uplifting.
Humble Goal: Gary seems to want nothing more than to have a pint at each of the twelve pubs. Taken to the point of deconstruction, as he continues to work at it long past the point that the pub crawl could be a sane priority. He even drinks someone else's leftover beer at The Famous Cock after the proprietor throws him out because he had been permanently banned from the place.
At one point Gary tells Peter to "get out of 90's."
Andy: We've all gone organic now - in a big way. Still, I can't think of any processed food I really miss. [Cut to Andy spotting a mint choc-chip Cornetto wrapper and staring desperately after it]
The Network gets one as well, with their claim that Gary's use of profanity is a sign of immaturity. Their last words before leaving? "Fuck It."
Impostor Exposing Test: To prove that they haven't been replaced by "blanks", the characters decide to show each other the scars, tattoos, corrective surgeries or other modifications they got over the years. Gary refuses to do so because they'd see he's attempted suicide, but instead bashes his head several times against a support beam, showing he's not Made of Plasticine and doesn't bleed blue ink.
I Need a Freaking Drink: Andy doesn't say this, but despite saying earlier in the evening that he is now a teetotaler, he starts pounding shots immediately after the gang finds out about the robots in the town.
Insistent Terminology: The doppelgängers are not 'robots'. After a whole scene spent trying to invent a term for them, the gang settles on "Blanks" by default.
Irony: The Blanks are slaves, because when they're no longer controlled by the Network, they regain their real personalities.
The flashbacks of their first stab at the Golden Mile are redone, almost shot for shot.
A few lines crop up in different contexts, like "you're never wrong", "there's no point arguing with you", and "selective memory".
"And you, sir, have the honor of drawing first blood."
Gary sends away Sam in her car so the crawl can continue, who says before leaving "It's important to go forwards, not backwards." As Sam arrives to save the group once The World's End explodes, she frantically asks which way is best direction to drive in, to which Gary answers "Backwards!", and Sam speeds into reverse.
Andy narrates at the end that "there were casualities... my cousin Paul. Gary's Mum." Earlier in the film, as the group works out that Gary borrowed from all of them in order to repay his debt to Andy, Gary confesses that it wasn't a case of robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul, it was "borrowing off Peter to pay Andy. I still owe Paul!"
At the end of the original attempt at the Golden Mile, Gary sat in a field and watched the the dawning of a new day with Andrew and Steven, knowing nothing would ever be the same as it was when they were at school. After the second attempt, the three of them are joined by Sam and end up in the same field, watching the destruction of Newton Haven and the dawn of a new age for mankind.
The first time The Network addresses Gary, it calls him "Gary King, of the Humans". The second time, it's "Gary, King of the Humans".
Logic Bomb: Done to the Network by Gary, Andrew and Steven after they learn that anyone who doesn't go along with the its plan is killed and replaced with a Blank, and the Network argues that it is the easiest way to prepare humanity to join the galactic community. Since the Network has been forced to replace everyone (bar three people) in Newton Haven, it's clearly not a good plan; Andrew drives the point home by asking how many people they've been forced to replace at the 2000 other locations on the planet, to which the Network can only reply "Shut up!" and leave.
Made of Plasticine: The Blanks seem to be made of some kind of brittle plastic, like giant action figures. Their heads explode with well placed punches and kicks. This actually plays an important part late in the film where Gary proves he's not a Blank by bashing his head against wooden post.
During Gary's opening monologue of the 1990 Golden Mile, most people won't notice the shooting star fly past as he stares into the new sun. according to Mad Basil, the shooting star is The Network arriving on Earth.
Meaningful Echo: In "The Two-Headed Dog," all of Gary's questions about Crowning Glory beer from "The First Post" are parroted back to him by the bartender, foreshadowing the hive-minded Network.
The Old Familiar: They are creeped out by the pub being virtually identical to the last one, and they bump into Sam, Oliver's sister.
The Famous Cock: Gary is (finally) recognised... for his previous dickish behaviour that got him banned.
The Cross Hands: The group have their first fight with the robots, and come together as a team for the first time.
The Good Companions: They decide to stick to Gary's plan of playing the part of a bunch of mates out for a drink to avoid suspicion. The pub sign shows four "tragedy" masks around a smiling "comedy" mask. Guess which one is Gary.
"And this time we're going to see it to the bitter end! ...Or lager end."
"It's like robbing Peter to pay Paul!" "No, I borrowed from Peter! (Beat) I still owe Paul."
Mistaken for Special Guest: The reason that The Network listens to Gary in the first place. Gary goes around yelling about how he's "Gary King, of the humans". The Network hears it as "Gary, King of the humans".
Ms. Fanservice: Both in-universe and out, the Marmalade Sandwich. "Two blondes and a redhead in the middle."
Mundane Made Awesome: It's an Edgar Wright film so, yeah, we get awesometastic sequences of the drawing of four pints of beer (and one tap water).
My Fist Forgives You: Peter beating thirty kinds of hell out of Blank!Shane. Edgar and Simon expressed in the commentary that they had Peter deliberately not land a punch in any of the fights until that moment, when he goes absolutely ballistic...and who can blame him?
Steven: Pete! Get over here! It's not worth it! Peter: YES IT FUCKING IS!!!!
Mythology Gag: Several nods to the previous two films in the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy.
Gary King fails in trying to climb a fence, just like Shaun and Danny.
The cameo from the Cornetto wrapper also counts.
All three films also feature identical twins.
The last time Bill Nighy told Simon Pegg what to do, he was much more obedient, although he still disagreed.
Gary King asks a teenager in the toilets if he and his mates are "having a good time", echoing a similar scene in Spaced which also ends up with Tim and Daisy involved in a fight with a group of teens.
The school girl silhouettes in The Mermaid are also pretty reminiscent of Marsha's daughter Amber in Spaced.
The people pictured on the poster for the disco event looked an awful lot like z—- We're not using the zed-word!!
The crowd of Blanks that is no longer being supported by the Network also looks like a horde of zombies.
Rafe Spall, who played the snotty teen who insults Shaun at the electronics store and one of the Andys in Hot Fuzz, appears here as the man Oliver is showing a house to. He is joined by Alice Lowe who played Tina in Hot Fuzz. The actress who played Mary the zombie in Shaun is sitting next to Gary at the support group meeting.
Michael Smiley, who played the bike messenger/drug dealer in Spaced and also has a cameo in Shaun Of The Dead, has an appearance here as Gary's former drug dealer, gone legit.
Julia Deakin, who appeared as the landlady in Spaced, appears here as the proprietor of the B&B the Five-Man Band checks into in Newton Haven. (She has parts in Shaun and Hot Fuzz as well.)
Successfully arguing that the aliens should leave humanity to its own flaws leads to the downfall of civilization. Depends on your definition of "breaking it", however. All the advancements the Network promises are pretty much worthless if they need to nearly eradicate humanity to implement them...which is a major point brought forth at the climax.
Two of the only three people in Newton Haven who aren't Blanks adopt this attitude at the end of the movie.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: At the Mermaid, the Blanks have successfully seduced Gary, Andy, and Peter and attempt to seduce Sam with a Blank of her teenage crush, who (unbeknownst to the Blanks) has been dead for several years. Sam immediately breaks out of whatever trance the Blanks tried to put her in and gets the other Musketeers out of the bar.
Nicknaming the Enemy: After it's hammered in that they are not robots, the group discusses what they should call them and eventually settle on "Blanks".
Andy: Nothing anyone's suggested in the last five minutes has been better than smashy-smashy eggman.
No Endor Holocaust: Andy points out that the death toll was surprisingly low after the destruction of all technology and civilization. Justified in that it counts actual humans.
Nothing But Hits: The soundtrack is composed almost entirely out of UK hits from the early 90's; similarly, Gary doesn't seem to listen to anything else.
Nostalgia Filter: Gary suffers very, very badly from this and has gone to ludicrous lengths to relive his youth. It's his disillusionment about reality not measuring up to the expectations he had as a teenager that prompts his suicide attempt.
Off The Wagon: Andy hasn't had a drink in 16 years, but starts back in after the fight in The Cross Hands. He quit drinking after he got into an accident while drunk and driving Gary to the hospital so he could be treated for a drug overdose.
Order Versus Chaos: The driving question of the film-do you accept an orderly, technological society with little free will, or a free, individualistic society with little in the way of technology? Humanity chooses Chaos.
Organ Autonomy: The heads and limbs of the Blanks can be broken off and will move on their own, even reattaching themselves if you don't smash them.
Outrun the Fireball: When the World's End explodes and the remaining group has to out drive it. Subverted in that it's world-wide and thus does catch them eventually, though they made it out of town.
The same jingle from the other two films being played from one of the fruit machines in a pub.
The Cornetto wrapper.
The Quisling: Blank Guy Shepard and Blank Oliver Chamberlain argue the most for letting the robots take over.
Robotic Reveal: Several. The first one happening in the bathroom during the struggle between Gary and the kid.
Sad Clown: Gary, who is desperately eager for light-hearted fun, yet is actually a complete wreck and has recently attempted suicide.
Scars Are Forever: Peter, Steven and Andy all have scars resulting from their Glory Days with Gary, proving that they haven't been replaced. Gary is mentioned to have a metal plate in his elbow from a dislocation, but refuses to show it, since he also has bandages hiding scars from a suicide attempt, which he really doesn't want to show them.
Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The Network responds to Gary's speech in this way in the end. After decades of frustratingly slow progress in trying to uplift the human race, getting yelled at by three drunk men who survived an entire village of Blanks is the straw that broke the camel's back, and it just gives up and leaves.
The Network: It's pointless arguing with you. [...] Yeah, fuck it.
Self Healing Phlebotinum: Blanks can reattach their severed limbs without much difficulty and get right back into the fight. As robots, however, they never heal their cosmetic damage. The Network apparently just spits out fresh copies of models that are damaged beyond functioning.
Skewed Priorities: Gary King's obsession with finishing the Golden Mile, even if it literally kills him.
Gary keeps calling them The Three Musketeers, even though there are five of them. This doubles as foreshadowing.
Reverend Green's nickname is a reference to the fact that he sells pot as well as a shout out to the green character in Cluedo. This joke doesn't translate as well in America, where the character is called "Mr. Green."
Gary mentions the "knife game" from Aliens, a scene in which it is revealed that Bishopis a robot.
The symbol representing The Network is a row of parallel vertical lines that resemble a symbol seen in the publicity for The Fifth Element.
They mention that Sam and Steven were in a production of Cabaret. Moments later Gary greets Sam with the words "Willkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome" which is title of a well known song from Cabaret.
Might be a coincidence, but both the words "Robotnik" and "Eggman" are used in the discussion about what to call Blanks. Those are the two alias of the Big Bad from Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sigil Spam: In a very subtle example, the Network's icon, a variation on the 5-bar cellular phone connection meter, appears throughout Newton Haven, most notably on signs for the town and its various pubs. Since the meaning of this symbol isn't revealed until the end, any viewer who did notice probably assumed it indicated wifi.
Blank!Oliver: C'mon Andy. They can't start without you!
Blank!Oliver:We can't start without you!note This is Andy's first clue, later confirmed by the reappearance of his birthmark.
Staging an Intervention: About a third of the way in, the gang are prepared to confront Gary for his increasingly self-destructive behaviour, after they learn that he lied about his mother's death to get them to go drinking with him. However, they're distracted by an alien invasion. Several aborted interventions occur throughout the film, culminating in a climax that is a bizarre combination of intervention and Humanity on Trial.
Stealth Pun: When Peter is surrounded by Blanks, Andy threatens to "punch their lights out". At this point the Blanks are emitting light from their eyes and mouths.
The surnames of the five lead characters are King, Knightley, Prince, Chamberlain and Page.
Guy Shepherd tries to guide the main characters into accepting fate and becoming alien replicants (i.e. sheep).
Thematic Series: The final installment of the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy. None of the movies are direct sequels (and if they exist in the same world there are an awful lot of Doppelgangers running around). Though even then, they couldn't be in the same continuity because Shaun of the Dead's ending showed that Zombies were being used as cheap manual labour, in which this movie showed a severe lack (not even a mention) of zombie slaves
Throat Light: White light spews from the mouths of those replaced by aliens.
Toxic Friend Influence: Gary's fixation on the pub crawl certainly gets the 'Five Musketeers' into a lot of trouble, and it's made clear that even in their younger days he wasn't a particularly good friend to them in many ways.
Two Guys and a Girl: Between Gary, Steven and Sam. Steven has carried a torch for Sam since they were all in school together, and even years later resents Gary for sleeping with her. Steven and Sam end up together at the end.
The Unreveal: The film makes it painfully obvious that Oliver's been turned into a Blank, but it allows for a Comically Missing the Point with Gary, who expresses suspicion at his behavior, but then exclaims, "I like the new you!"
From the blank Marmalade Sandwich: "Andy... I want you inside me." Andy then punches a hole in her stomach to retrieve his wedding ring.
"There is nothing between me and Gary!" The twins then barge between Sam and Gary.
When The Network finally appears, it looks much like a five bar internet connection, and hangs up like a phone would.
Walking In Rhythm: The group walks in time to the Doors' version of "Alabama Song" as they try to give the appearance that all is normal on their way to the next whiskey ba—er, pub. Unfortunately, the way the Blanks stare at them ominously from that point on...
Enforced Method Acting: According to Edgar Wright: "The montage that Alabama Song plays over was timed very carefully to the music. We had it playing on set, so the actors were walking in step to it and drinking in time to it as well. It’s not easy. I’d like you in the Empire office to try drinking a whole pint in time to the middle eight of Alabama Song — it’s really difficult!"
He tells the rest of his friends "I'm free to do what I want, any old time", quoting "I'm Free" by The Soup Dragons note "I'm Free" was a Rolling Stones song originally, but the Cover Version is the one featured on the soundtrack.
We Have Reserves: No matter how damaged any of the Blanks are, they are replaced with identical ones moments after by the Network.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Network just want humanity to reach its full potential (by their standards). They only want to kill as many as they have to in order to ensure that. Unfortunately, it turns out to require killing almost all of the human race, because humanity doesn't like being told what to do.
"Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: Andy reconciles with his wife and is trying to make do with his own farm, Sam and Steven are living together in a shack outside of London, the Blanks of Peter and Oliver are trying to live the life the real ones did before the Network left, and Gary is Walking the Earth with the Blanks of the younger versions of Andy, Steven, Peter, and Oliver.
World-Wrecking Wave: Newton Haven is destroyed by one in the climax of the film as the Network leaves Earth. And then it keeps going...
You Do NOT Want To Know: Invoked by Basil on the fate of the "Empties". When Gary asks The Network, Basil yells out, "I told you not to ask that!" When Gary finds out, his shocked expression confirms it was definitely Schmuck Bait.