Geoff Cox’s DVD reviews: The World’s End, Despicable Me 2
After spoofing zombie horrors (Shaun Of The Dead) and an action thriller (Hot Fuzz), comedy duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost team up again for a sci-fi fantasy.
They join three reluctant childhood friends (Eddie Marsan, Paddy Considine and Martin Freeman) on a pub crawl in their home town, Newton Haven, in THE WORLD’S END (15: Universal).
They were in their teens when they attempted this tour of 12 local bars and now, on reaching the age of 40, they aim to complete it.
But as they work their way round the hostelries, they stumble on a threat to the entire human race, with blue-blooded robot replicas wanting to bring Earth into intergalactic line.
Director Edgar Wright and his cast provide many laugh-out-loud moments, even if the scenario treads familiar ground, and there’s an engaging chemistry between the five boozers.
Zany violence and visual effects and some surprising cameos are added to make this an enjoyably matey romp.
> There’s a nifty twist that brings added jeopardy to an already exciting plot in DESPICABLE ME 2 (U: Universal), a spectacular animated sequel brimming with humour.
Aware of how important the Minions, Gru’s little yellow helpers, were to the original film, they’ve been placed centre stage and at one point they turn against their beloved master.
No-longer-despicable criminal mastermind Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is wallowing in domestic bliss with the trio of orphan girls he adopted in the first movie, abandoning his wicked ways for a life of fatherhood and jam-making.
Then he’s faced with a new evil threat and is drafted by the Anti-Villain League, whose boss is voiced by Steve Coogan. Gru calls upon his cunning of old to scupper the plans of a shady figure intent on world domination after stealing an experimental serum with the power to turn harmless animals into monsters.
> A quartet of flashy Las Vegas magicians use their stage shows as cover for a series of seemingly impossible heists and give away the money they steal to their audiences in fast-paced drama NOW YOU SEE ME (12: Entertainment One).
As the robbers, including Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson, boldly shower people with cash from these audacious bank robberies, an FBI agent (Mark Ruffalo) enlists the help of a magic specialist (Morgan Freeman) to figure out how these modern-day Robin Hoods do it.
The intricate dialogue and snappy dialogue are straight from the Ocean’s Eleven franchise, with the conjurer element offering an intriguing twist. And old hand Michael Caine, as the magicians’ moneybags benefector, brings gravitas to a light, but likeable, yarn.
> A big hit in Sweden in 2010, spawning two sequels, EASY MONEY (15: Lionsgate) is as coolly atmospheric as the best in Scandi-drama.
It catapulted its star,Joel Kinnaman, to Hollywood via the US remake of TV series The Killing.
He plays an economics student who affects the persona of a jet-setter while living in digs and driving an unlicensed cab. The bungled pick-up of an escaped Chilean drug dealer leads to him fronting a plot to launder money through a failing bank as a Serbian hitman closes in.