This week for ReWind, I am going ALL the way back to 2004. This was the year we were introduced to the first movie of what is known as the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy. Sometimes it is also referred to as the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy. Which ever way you look at it, 2004 was the beginning. The movie Shaun of the Dead began what would become my favourite trilogy of all time. Surpassing such great trilogies as Star Wars, Back to the Future and Beverly Hills Cop.
The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy is not your conventional trilogy. In a conventional trilogy the same characters from the first movie appear in the subsequent films. The connections are more apparent than they are with this trilogy. This trilogy has some similar aspects to most trilogies, but the characters are not connected in any way. The way they are the same is that Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are a big part of the cast in each film, and all three films were directed by Edgar Wright. All three films are also written by both Pegg and Wright, but that is almost all that connects them. As the name of the trilogy suggests, these movies are also connected by three different flavours of the very popular Cornetto ice cream.
Shaun of the Dead stars Simon Pegg as Shaun and Nick Frost as his best friend Ed. Shaun has fallen into a rut with his girlfriend Liz(Kate Ashfield) and she has had enough of it. Ed is sleeping on the couch at Shaun and his flat mate Pete’s(Peter Serafinowicz) place. After a night where the two spend the evening at their local pub, The Winchester, they awake to find themselves in a zombie apocalypse situation.
The first of the Cornetto Trilogy had one of the best genre taglines I have ever seen. Shaun of the Dead is the first ever, and best, RomZomCom. We have all heard the term RomCom before, which of course means Romantic Comedy. Well, Edgar Wright gave was the Romantic Zombie Comedy, or as previously stated: RomZomCom. For me, living in Canada, I had not heard of Simon Pegg until I seen Shaun of the Dead and instantly I became a fan. I even went out of my way to track down Spaced to see some of his earlier work. Due to the fact that Shaun of the Dead was my introduction to this wonderful world, I always consider it the best of the three films.
The second film of the Cornetto Trilogy is widely regarded by many to be the best of the three. Hot Fuzz is not a RomZomCom, it is more like your typical buddy cop movie and was released in 2007. This time Simon Pegg is Nicholas Angel, one of the best police officers in London. He is so good that his superiors feel he is putting all other officers in the Metropolitan Police Department to shame. So they promote him and send him off to a quaint little English village that is known for its extremely low crime statistics. In fact, it had won the best village award several years in a row. There Nicholas is paired with a bumbling officer, Danny Butterman(Nick Frost). A series of deaths that are being called accidents forces Nicholas to start his own investigations.
This buddy cop movie pays homage to some of the great action cop movies out there. Even having specific references to Bad Boys II and Point Break. Filled with action, humour and truly great cameos, this movie really has it all. Speaking of cameos, here is just a tastes of some of the actors who entertain in this movie. Former James Bond star Timothy Dalton, the amazing Bill Nighy, the original Equalizer Edward Woodward, the very talented Jim Broadbent and Watson himself Martin Freeman. All these actors and more bring together a wonderful film that I can watch time and time again.
The final film of the Cornetto Trilogy is The World’s End and it was released in 2013. The first one was your RomZomCom, then you had your buddy cop action comedy movie, so how do you conclude this wacky trilogy? Aliens. This movie has Simon Pegg as Gary King, a man who is trying to recapture his youth. In his younger days, he and his mates tried to complete a 12 stop pub crawl. Now, several years on from their younger days, Gary is trying to reunite his friends for one more go at the epic crawl. The problem is that they are estranged, and most of it is Gary’s fault. However, he wants all four of his friends to join him one last time. Andy(Nick Frost), Oliver(Martin Freeman), Steven(Paddy Considine) and Peter(Eddie Marsan) take a lot of convincing, but they soon agree to retrace the steps of their youths. However, when they return to their old stomping grounds, something is just not quite right. The people seem very different and something strange is going on.
I think I enjoyed this film more than most did, but I understand that many felt that it was the weakest of the three. In fairness, there are only three films, and one of them had to come in third place. The World’s End is not just the title of the film, it is the final pub of their pub crawl. I am sad to say, that until I saw this movie, I had never heard the term ‘pub crawl’ before. I think the concept was there in my mind, but never heard to it referred to as a ‘pub crawl’. The sad news in all of this is that this was the end of an era. Both Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg feel that the series has run its course and perhaps the title also signifies that as well.
So you’re probably sitting there after all this saying, ‘what does this all have to do with tasty ice cream?’, well I’ll tell you. In the first film of the trilogy, Shaun goes to the shop at one point and purchases a strawberry flavoured Cornetto. In Hot Fuzz, while Danny and Nicholas are bored on patrol they stop in a shop and purchase the classic vanilla flavoured Cornetto. Finally, in The World’s End after … SPOILER ALERT …the Earth is plunged back into the dark ages of technology we see the wrapper of a mint flavoured Cornetto blow onto a fence. I did say that this trilogy was unlike any other trilogy before (or since), however, I have returned to this trilogy on numerous occasions over the years. I could not even tell you how many times I have seen Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz as they have been out slightly longer than The World’s End. I can tell you that since the release of the final film, I have watched the complete trilogy at least five times.
What is your favourite of the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy? What is your favourite trilogy over all? Let us know in the comments below.