Ranking the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy
Edgar Wright has proven himself to be one of Hollywood’s greatest young directors. His eye, not to mention his wit and, in the case of Baby Driver, his ears, has allowed him to create a collection of films that are action-packed, funny, scary and absolutely irresistible. Scott Pilgrim VS the World was mesmerizing and Baby Driver was hypnotizing. It was his Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, however, that he is probably most known for.
Consisting of Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the World’s End, the Cornetto Trilogy manages to be both hilarious and, in some cases, horrifying. Featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in featured roles, the films in this “trilogy” are unrelated but are very similar in tone and aesthetics. Tackling genre staples like the zombie apocalypse, slashers, and body snatching, the Cornetto Trilogy is perfect fare for Halloween fun if you’re looking to get as many laughs as screams. If you only have time to watch one, though, we have compiled a brief list that ranks all 3 films. Don’t get us wrong, though- all 3 of these movies are great and, if you can, you should watch them all back-to-back.
Grab your ice cream cones and lock the doors, dear reader. We are Ranking the Cornetto Trilogy.
3) The World’s End (2013)
The final film in the Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End tells the story of Gary King (Simon Pegg), a 40-something-year-old hapless loser trying to hold onto his youth by any means necessary. In order to do this, he reunites with his old high school friends to complete an epic pub crawl. While this may sound like a coming-of-(old)-age tale, there is definitely more than meets the eye when it comes to this crawl.
Shaun of the Dead focused on zombies. Hot Fuzz focused on serial killers. This film feels more like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What was supposed to be an epic night out will turn into an epic fight for survival as Gary and his friends take on their entire hometown while still trying to make it to The World’s End.
We’ve ranked this film 3rd because, unlike Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, this is more of an ensemble piece. Pegg and Frost are still main characters, but by sharing screen time with others (who do a great job, mind you) they miss out on some of the chemistry they had in the previous two films. Also, it’s new and different to feature Frost as the straight man and Pegg as the screw-up, but they both still do a wonderful job in their roles.
The World’s End is a great film to watch if you’re lamenting about days gone by, or if you just happen to find yourself being overtaken by an alien army, intent on bringing about, well, the world’s end.
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2) Hot Fuzz (2007)
The lesson to be learned from Hot Fuzz is to not be really good at your job, otherwise, you might get transferred to a small town with deadly secrets. That’s how Nicholas Angel finds himself in the town of Sandford.
As the former exceptional constable in London, Nick must make due with his new assignment, as well as his new partner- a bumbling, yet good-hearted fool played by Nick Frost. As both men navigate their new partnership, they also investigate a series of grisly murders, trying to find out who is at the center of them. What they don’t know, but will soon find out, is that this town is not as ‘picture-esque’ as it seems.
Hot Fuzz lands right in the middle. It’s not as funny or clever as Shaun of the Dead, but it’s close. This film has a murder mystery behind it, channeling some of the tones from 90’s Slasher films, and the end is more than worth the 110 minutes leading up to it. Hot Fuzz is like a buddy cop-meets-Stepford Wives-meets-I Know What You Did Last Summer and the results are hilariously horrifying.
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1) Shaun of the Dead (2004)
Shaun of the Dead was the one that started it all. We’re not sure if Edgar Wright planned on making a pseudo-trilogy, he probably just wanted to make a really good movie. That’s exactly what he did with Shaun of the Dead– a genre film that flips said genre on its head and beats it to death with a cricket racquet.
As the title suggests, this film is about Shaun- a hapless 30-something with a pretty uneventful existence. He has a mom he rarely sees, a girlfriend he rarely romances and a best friend he rarely, well, actually he hangs out with his best friend quite a bit. Shaun, it seems, is content to live in mediocrity. Then, the zombie apocalypse happens and it’s up to Shaun to save the people he cares most about. It’s time for Shaun to finally step up, stop being selfish and fight for the people he loves.
When Shaun of the Dead first debuted in 2004, we didn’t quite know what to make of it at first. Horror-Comedies were nothing new, but this film took that genre to a whole different level. It had a rapid pace, with quick cuts, biting dialogue and throwaway gags we’re pretty sure we still haven’t caught all of.
Shaun of the Dead is the slacker’s manifesto, it seems. But, like all of Edgar Wright’s films, underneath the jokes and murderous neighbors, there’s a coming-of-age story. Many of us don’t get our lives in order until our 30’s. Shaun had to do that whilst fighting a horde of the undead. This film, like the ones it pays homage to, has become a classic.
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