This summer has been a grim reminder of the sad state of affairs of U.S. comedies. Between banal dreck like Grown Ups 2, We’re the Millers, and The Hangover Part III, American humor at the movies seems to be dependent on juvenile gags revolving around bodily functions and foul language than creativity and sharp social commentary. The result has been a string of comedies with less laughs than a marathon of Canadian parliament. But, like a great beer, sometimes you need to shrug off the domestic product and head straight for the imports.
For decades, the most consistent comedies to reach our shores have been coming from the UK. TV shows like The Office and Monty Python have created a demand in the American mainstream over the years. With its blend of dry one-liners, absurd physical gags, and morbid subject matter, this twisted brand of comedy doesn’t go for the obvious jokes we see Adam Sandler and Will Ferrell deliver every year.
Today marks the release of director Edgar Wright’s The World’s End. This is the final part of Wright’s thematic Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy that began in 2004 with Shaun of the Dead and continued in 2007 with Hot Fuzz. Wright and crew brought British humor back in vogue in the States after a few down years, and what’s more, The World’s End makes this the rare trilogy that sticks the landing. So as we gear up for some imported laughs with The World’s End, check out our rundown of The 25 Best British Comedy Movies of All Time.