The Cornetto Trilogy
JB and I sat down last Thursday evening around 5:30 for our first movie theater marathon. The lucky trilogy to receive this honor? The Cornetto Trilogy. It is a trilogy in the loosest sense of the word (or so we thought). From the creative team of director Edgar Wright, and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, along with a handful of regulars onscreen, including The Hobbit’s Martin Freeman, these movies are seemingly unconnected. Shaun of The Dead, a spoof on the zombie genre. Hot Fuzz, a spoof on buddy cop movies. And the newest and final installment, The World’s End, a drinking movie that goes horribly awry (but in a good way). None of the same characters are repeated from movie to movie. The films lack any sort of overarching plot. Why then, can these 3 separate films be considered a trilogy? Is the fact that Cornetto Ice Cream treats show up in each movie or the fact that inevitably someone tries to ineffectively hop over a fence really enough to tie them together?
As we sat through movie after movie after movie, a certain theme started to emerge. Pegg and Frost’s characters each go through a journey… at first Pegg starts out as responsible, then gets even more responsible, then ultimately snaps and ends up at the complete opposite end of the spectrum playing a ‘recovering’ drug addict trapped in reliving the past. Whereas Frost is Pegg’s counterpoint each step of the way, moving from weed dealer-low life-man-child, to “wants to do something right” son of the police captain, to finally the responsible one surmounting his addictions and being a twelve-stepper. And it is their relationship that is the core of each movie. In Shaun, these two characters’ friendship has long been established even though they seem an odd pairing. For Hot Fuzz, it’s a budding new one, and in World’s End, it is the mending of a broken friendship. And I feel like this is the reason that I can consider these films a trilogy.
More than zombies or murderers or robots, the heart of the movies (and they do have heart) is about true friendship. The Cornetto Trilogy proves that you can take films that are on the surface fun, light homages to certain genres, and infuse them with something more. You can tell that the friendships extend past the film itself and into the film-making process of Wright, Pegg, and Frost. This is why these films have a large dedicated number of followers willing to sit for six hours in a dark movie theater watching these relationships unfold. It’s about the love and that is why, at the end of the night, we exited the theater smiling.