I didn’t notice this until tonight–and I kinda wish it occurred to me two years ago–but Pegg and Wright’s, 2013 movie, World’s End can be viewed as a metaphor for the Brexit referendum. The galactic network of alien robot overlords promising enlightened peace and plenty is the EU and the UK is Simon Pegg’s Gary King drunkenly shouting up from a beery, smelly pit full of broken refuse. Just watch this scene and tell me this doesn’t summarize the whole mess in six minutes:
The whole thing plays out in a lot of ways. Perhaps the movie ends optimistically that human perversity defeats the group think of alien conformity. But at the same time it’s the defeat of the Wellsian paternalism of imposing a better world on the unenlightened masses despite of themselves.
Pegg and Wright don’t pull punches or take the easy way out with the ending of the movie. The aliens leave and global civilization collapses. It turned out that the robots had been helping our advancement for a lot longer and much more subtly than our individualist bravado lead us to believe. Gary King is happy in his new role in this newly savage world so it could be argued the movie ends happily. But on the other hand, human civilization has fallen and we are abandoned, with no outside help to rebuild it again. A perfect encapsulation of the UK’s post Brexit world.