Gary King (Simon Pegg) is a man-boy who never grew out of being the coolest kid in school. Unfortunately, that time was WAY back, and now Gary is a bit of a loser.
In order to bring some meaning to his wretched existence, he tries to relive his glory years by getting his mates together again. The plan is that they should complete an epic pub crawl that they never managed to finish in their dismal home town of Newton Milton. Then, in the grand tradition of Wright/Pegg Cornetto collaborations, things start happening.
I did laugh; a lot, but also rather self-consciously too. You see Gary’s predilection for band tees*, DMs, and the nostalgic late 80s-90s Indie soundtrack are things that he and I share (rather uncomfortably, since I saw the movie).
On the other hand, the film makes me feel happy that I never tried too hard to stay in touch with any of my youf frienemies. But, perhaps I shouldn’t be too hard on either Gary or myself, because I’m sure that there’s a bit of Gary’s alternative gothy douchery** in many of us of a certain cultural niche and age. And, even if we can’t relate to him directly, surely we know blokes like Gary.
Although Gary King is a hateful bugger, like the rest of his friends, you can’t help feeling a little sorry for him, and remember that some of those halycon skool daze weren’t all bad. Drunken, antisocial, and incredibly stupid maybe, but also quite a lot of fun too.
And, in the end, it’s not all hopeless, because Gary’s Carl McCoy-esque** wasteland wanderer is his finest sunset moment.
Recommended for a nostalgic day trip, as well as a swift kick in the jacksy for anyone harking for “back-in-the-day”, and a fitting final act to the Cornetto trilogy.
Now I’m off to the shops to get some proper, grown-up clobber.***
*I used to own that very same Sisters of Mercy/Merciful Release tee-shirt Gary wears (and boots, pendant, hairline… Oh dear).
** Sure Eldritch, but the Fields’ McCoy makes a much more credible goth cowboy. Haven’t you seen Hardware (1990)?
***Actually, I didn’t.