Underneath its fun tapestry of endless witty banter, zany apocalyptic sci-fi, and action ’til you’re blue in the face are some wonderful nuggets of character drama and thematic debates on nostalgia, authenticity, friendship, and personal growth. There’s only one Gary King (or is there? Should there be? Are we always the same person?); he’s a “fuck-up” but he’s human; his devil-may-care attitude is wildly concerning but helpful when the devil himself comes to call at the world’s end (“Fuck it.”).
Hot damn, this is jam-packed full of all the riotous comedy and insane action sequences you could ever want in one movie, with the clever whiplash editing cinching it up together with the surprising whodunit plot into a compact water balloon of explosive fun to smash in your face. The sleepy yet secretly sinister small town setting is executed to perfection thanks to a great supporting cast and Pegg and Frost are a highly enjoyable odd couple at the forefront. Marvelously scripted throughout.
The set-up here is brilliant, with all its sly foreshadows and that amazing one-take shot of Shaun heading to the store, and while the more straight-forward horror comedy that follows doesn’t wow as much as the comedic/dramatic irony of the first act, it’s always entertaining (a scene highlight: sifting through the records in the backyard), with weirdly but appreciably genuine pathos (see Ed and the cigarette in the cellar) and apocalyptic character tension (see the Winchester wars of words).
An incredibly fun film: the treasure-hunt adventure plot is well-crafted without being too complicated, the action is excellent (see the wild goose-I mean falcon chase through Bagghar), the animation makes full use of its creative power (see the delightful transitions and Haddock’s recollection), and there’s just the right amount of great comedy (see Thompson and Thomson of course, but Haddock is hilarious too: “I lit a wee fire” “In a boat?!”) added to the suspense (see the ship escape).
A young orphaned boy raised by underground cave-dwelling trash collectors tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator. (IMDb)
Painstakingly detailed animation (see the existential after-credits scene) brings forth a fun steampunk-style setting and simple story saturated with sharp and silly Seuss-like commentary on social equality and fear-driven racism (see Eggs’ summation in the tasting room). Brimming too with memorably quirky characters good, bad, and in between (the henchmen are refreshingly thoughtful) and pops of sly wit (see the happenstance rimshot after the Curds Way joke), the film has ne’er a dull moment.