The Three Flavors Cornetto trilogy is a series of comedy movies by Edgar Wright, co-written with Simon Pegg. It comprises Shaun of the Dead (2004), Hot Fuzz (2007) and The World’s End (2013), all starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as the main characters. As the name suggests, it is funnily named after the ice-cream line and shows glimpses of the same throughout the series. The movies are all anthologically related, with different plotlines and characters, but same actors and genre.
Shaun of the Dead
This is the first and most famous of the three. Shaun, is a tech salesperson stuck in a boring cycle of work, the bar and his girlfriend. He gets broken up with in the beginning of the movie and spends the night getting drunk with his unemployed best friend, Ed. As Shaun sets out to get a Cornetto for hungover Ed, we are first introduced to the awakening of the dead. We see how a zombie apocalypse sets in after that night, with Shaun and Ed having to protect themselves and their loved ones before the dawn of the dead!
Shaun of the Dead is perhaps the most famous zombie movie ever made, and uniquely combines the gore visuals of the dead with quick, witty and extremely funny humor. The director does a great job at infusing mystery and thrill in the story, and makes sure that every character is made relatable. Overall, it is definitely a piece of art, just enough to keep you laughing throughout.
This is the second installation of the series and carries the gag of having a Cornetto in the script. It features Pegg as Nicholas Angel, an overachieving police officer in London who, because of being overly sincere, get transferred to a small village in the countryside. Here he encounters bizarre happenings all around as the village prepares for a ‘best village’ competition.
Hot Fuzz has more depth to it, and thus can be called the best among the three, as it has a clearer idea of its genre and fastens the characters into the story better. It shows a more serious character from Pegg, but somehow still gets us laughing with silly, immature jokes. It touches on some serious themes in the plotline and delves into a mystery-drama rather than horror like the first. This is a must-watch for all fans of comedy cinema, because it has certain elements of comedy like running gags, humor through objects, callbacks and subtle dark humor that you cannot find anywhere else. Oh, and Cornettoes are a break-time snack for Pegg and Frost’s characters as they quickly investigate some top-secret stuff!
The World’s End
The World’s End is the epic culmination to the series and is aptly titled so. Although not as famous or profitable as the other two, this movie does not disappoint. It fuses comedy with the sci-fi genre this time and Wright does a great job in doing so. This is more serious in a few ways, maybe because it deals with some really dark themes but also that the genre itself is something you can’t mess around with.
The World’s End deals with Pegg and his friends recreating a high-school hometown bar marathon after 23 years but accidentally fall over a plot of an alien takeover. It hilariously accounts for how drunk they get after each bar, and even though encounter life-threatening circumstances, want to finish the marathon once and for all. It also deals with philosophical questions of the purpose of humanity, master- follower relationships… etc. The Cornetto comes towards the end when the town has been burned to the ground and its wrapper is seen flying onto a fence.
Why watch the Cornetto Trilogy?
For one, definitely because of the different subtle mentions of the Cornetto itself. But more realistically, you will not find direct and quick-wit humor anywhere else. The fact that characters and script are written as British just makes it funnier solely based on the accent. Pegg and Frost deliver masterful performances.
This doesn’t mean the story is lackluster, rather Wright explores different genres of film to mix with comedy so that the whole notion of cinema is more enjoyable. The movies are just that, always entertaining and hitting the right funny bones in your body. If comedy is not your style, check our the action-packed Godzilla vs. Kong review, or for historical drama fans, The Green Knight is just the review you need!